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FREE Issue 12

Art, Music, and Laissez Faire

Portishead Talking

Warpaint Singing

Hyetal Broadcasting

Dodos Chirping



Times New Viking Pinch East 17 Anthony Burrill Mr Mead & more...

The Twelfth Issue

fabric june / july 77A Charterhouse Street, London, EC1. Opening times are from 11pm to 8am. £18 (advance tickets) £19/£10 student £9 after 4am, and 6 from 5am. fabricfirst members free in June with a guest at half price. Advance tickets: fabric operates a 24hr drinking license. fabric 57: Agoria — Out Now fabric 58: Craig Richards presents the Nothing Special — 20th June fabric 59: Jamie Jones — 15th August

Craig Richards Terry Francis 2020Soundsystem (LIVE) 2562 (LIVE) Adam Shelton Art Department Asad Rizvi Ben Sims Brett Johnson Cassy Claude VonStroke Conforce (LIVE) Damian Lazarus Deniz Kurtel (LIVE) Dexorcist Dixon Dmx Krew (LIVE) Electro Elvis Guti (LIVE) Hot Natured Inxec (LIVE) Isolee (LIVE) J Phlip Jamie Jones Jerome Sydenham Joseph Capriati Joshua Iz

Lasermagnetic Lauer Lazersonic Lee Burridge Lee Foss Leftroom Records Luke Vb & Tim Red Maetrik Marcus Worgull Mark Chambers Martin Buttrich (LIVE) Matt Tolfrey Matthias Tanzmann Minilogue (LIVE) Motorcitysoul Mr C Nick Agha Nick Curly Nima Gorji No Regular Play (LIVE) One Records Radioactive Man (LIVE) Ralph Lawson Reboot (LIVE) Ricardo Villalobos Richy Ahmed Russ Gabriel Ryan Elliott Sean Brosnan Slam Stephen Brown (LIVE) Steve Rachmad Subb An Superfreq Tyrant Zak Frost









Photographer: Charles Emerson Featuring: Beth Gibbons From Portishead

For those who are cracked let the light in: Respect Letty Lamdin Lucinda ‘Bounce’ Bounsall Beth Gibbons Natalie Brandweiner Linford Christie Derrick Mr Motivator Brian Harvey James Gandolfini Geraint Davies Sean Griffiths Idle Hands Shaps The Indian Branch of Laissez Faire

12 16

is brain scrambled. Putting your head above the parapet of cultural shit that invades our consciousness on a daily basis is essentially a very tricky exercise.



Creative Director / Managing Director Jake Applebee Editor / Managing Director Thomas Frost



Web Editor Lucinda Bounsall Intern Geraint Davies Fashion Elle Sheriff Filip K Inma Azorin

32 40 34

Contributors Mavis Botswinga Christopher Goodfellow Joe Dunkley Ed Collings-Wells Thomas Hawkins Natalie Brandweiner Hulio Bourgeois Danielle Richardson Sean Griffiths Claire Holmes Artbeats Imogen Freeland Lora English Matthew Smith Chris Cooper

On a recent trip to All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, Crack was presented with a frustrating scenario. In our rather lovely chalet, we had the misfortune of being subjected to an hour of Lady Gaga videos before we ventured out for the evening. Having never before consciously sat down with the pure intention of watching Lady Gaga, it was eye-opening to say the least. Heralded as one of the most innovative and creative artists of our time, there seemed to be a distinct formula to each colourful four-minute blast of video. Namely, combining any idea with any idea. Personally, we’d love to be in that production meeting. I’d imagine it going something like this: “Right. We need some Chinese themed décor, 45 LCD TVs flashing on and off, half a dozen Bengal tigers, a fuck load of lighting, three butlers in the buff, an Arabic midget, 50 kilos of cake mix and a swimming pool, get some replica uzis and while they’re being fired hint that an orgy might be about to go down. Oh yeah...make sure she’s in her pants. Work with me here.” Is that original and creative? Or is that just Lady Gaga’s production team hitting your brain with everything they’ve got? Maybe in some sensory-exploding way it does offer something? Either way, Crack couldn’t take our eyes of it for the whole hour. It was like being injected by a sensory-heightening medicine. It also meant three hours later when watching something genuinely spellbinding in Animal Collective, Crack had the sound of Poker Face and the image of Lady Gaga in her pants bustling around our brains. As it gets harder to stop your brain being attacked by the crazy-mixed-message world we live in, allow Crack to present you a fitting passage through the cake mix.

Tom Frost

Jake Applebee

Illustration Lee Nutland Crack Magazine N.o 12 Studio 31 Berkeley Square Clifton Bristol BS8 1HP CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd

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07747779952 Thanks to: Eleanor Glen, Bertie ‘Mac’ Davidson, Mike Applebee, Louise Trimby, Filip K, Inma and Vincente, Ruined Lou, Lora, Markland, Stanley Donwood, Dave Bain, Turbowolf, Beak>, Appleblim, Lego Castles, Tall Ships, Ben Howard, Taking Tiger Mountain, Laurie Rollitt, Jay and Sophie, Scotty 2 Hotty, Tatty, Jamie Atherton, Kane, Annie Davis, Big Dave Frost, Moussa, Simon Jutton, Johnny De Mearns, Lex, Jack Clemoes, Frost clan, Applebee clan, Jayne Applebee, Rowena Mayhew, Donuts Crew, Jon Payne, Avalaan Boys, Dan 02 Academy, Matt Start The Bus, © All rights reserved. All material in Crack magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of Crack Industries Ltd. Crack Magazine and its contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. Crack Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material prior to publishing. Crack magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to supplied materials. The opinions expressed or recommendations given in the magazine are the views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of Crack Industries Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages.

The Dodos - When Will You Go Pearson Sound - Working With Travis Porter - Make It Rain Liars - There’s Always Room on the Broom Roska + Jamie George - Love 2 Nite Neon Neon - Raquel Warpaint - Elephants Company Flow - 8 Steps To Perfection Doc Daneeka - Like a Fool Arcade Fire - Rococo Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Lay Me Low Death From Above 1979 - Going Steady Fucked Up - Queen of Hearts Mariachi El Bronx - My Brother the Gun Mclusky - Collagen Rock Wavves - Super Soaker Egyptrixx - Bible Eyes Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance Queens of the Stone Age - Avon Times New Viking - Ways to Go The Arteries - Doing the Rounds Sonic Youth - Cross the Breeze

East 17 - Thunder Tall Ships - Hit The Floor Bon Iver - Perth Delta 5 - Mind Your Own Business Gang Gang Dance - Mindkilla Mount Kimbie - Baves Chords Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers PJ Harvey - In The Dark Places Portishead - Silence Com Truise - Hyperlips Christophe - The Force Marilyn Manson - Disposable Teens Damian Lazarus - Different Now Nicolas Jaar - Sunflower Funk D’Void - Diabla Manic Street Preachers - Slash n’ Burn Richard Davis - Bring Me Closer Sheila E - A Love Bizarre J Dilla - Light Works Scuba - Lights Out Miles Benjiman - Feel Glorious (Kept-Simple Remix) Kyuss - Molten Universe

Twin Shadow - Yellow Balloon Donell Jones - U Know What’s Up Cotti and Cluekid - The Legacy Proper Filthy Naughty - Flow (False Prophet Remix) David Bowie - Golden Years Daphni - Ye Ye The 2 Bears - Follow The Bear T- Rex - I Love to Boogie Van McCoy - The Hustle African Music Machine - Black Water Gold Ice Cube - Today Was A Good Day Alabama 3 - Woke Up This Morning SebestiAN - Greel Robag Wruhme - Bommsen Boff Loco Dice - Pimp Jackson Is Talking Now! Gui Boratto - The Blessing Afrilounge - Lux Dementia KLF - 3AM Eternal Art Department - Much To Much Lykke Li - Dance Dance Dance Donna Summer - I Feel Love Eminem - Drug Ballad


W.t.f (dumbus stuffus) (JUST OPINION, OUR OPINION, MAYBE NOT YOUR OPINION, BUT in some cases DEFINITELY OUR OPINION and in others not opinion at all)

Speci al Editi on

Laissez Faire Ladies and Gentlemen, this issue we bring you a rather special WTF courtesy of our friends in London – Laissez Faire magazine. The episode of The Mighty Boosh when Vince Noir’s worst nightmare is revealed is a particular favourite of Crack. Having been a notorious East London trendsetter for sometime, Vince realises he has a doppelganger called Lance Dior who is copying every clothing thread and every slice of new musical genius he creates. Throughout the episode he is always one step ahead, stealing his ideas and looks. This causes Vince untold stress, despite the fact Vince has had his face copyrighted. While Crack would never claim to have the trendsetting prowess and social influence of Vince Noir, we are proud of the style of this ‘ere mag. Which is why collective jaws and salivary glands respectively dropped and went into overdrive last week, when we discovered that Laissez-Faire – a lesser-known London publication – had shamelessly replicated the design style of Crack. Sure, they don’t really feature art or music in any great depth, but it’s quite clear they certainly have a real admiration of Crack’s design. When confronted about their replication of Crack, we were told that the design teams in India were responsible. This, we suspect, is because Crack’s Indian circulation has been going from strength to strength of late…pah!

In all seriousness, not only have these guys ripped our shit off from top to bottom – website, hard copy, fonts and layout. Not only have they stolen the basis for editorial ideas, the layout for our website, our banner design and then posted all five of their watered down hard copy versions online. Not only have they distributed approximately 15,000 copies over five months in London. Worse than all of that…they stole our beloved agony aunt, Mavis Botswinga, and replaced her. Meet Jarvis Malawi – Laissez-Faire’s imitation agony uncle. After a word with our dearest problem solving matriarch, she said: “If this punk comes anywhere near me, I’m gonna smash his black ass all the way back to Eastern Africa.” You see our fair lady did not take too kindly to being copied. We can hereby expose that Jarvis Malawi is actually a paedophille, drug pusher from Droitwich. No one likes to see their hard work, ideas and effort shamelessly watered down and ripped off. Any person who has picked up Crack and Laissez Faire magazine would, we presume, think we’d gotten ourselves interested in mediocre lifestyle and subsequently created a sister publication. We’d just like to set the record straight…we haven’t.


If you’d like to give them a piece of your mind, please be our guest.


d . o . t . h . i . s c r a c k . g i g s

go to to download our monthly mixes //

Two Door Cinema Club

Jamie Woon

Crack Cardiff Launch

Anson Rooms June 2nd

02 Academy June 2nd

Anson Rooms June 3rd

Cardiff Arts Institute (xxxy +Kowton) June 3rd

We The People Festival

Nicolas Jaar

Pearson Sound

Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Kyle Hall

Bristol Harbour June 4th/5th

The Thekla June 8th

The Croft June 8th

Trinity June 9th

Basement 45 June 10th

Motion June 11th



1-2-3-4 Shoreditch

Underhill Festival

Vivian Girls

East 17

Trinity June 28th

The Fleece June 29th

Shoreditch July 9th

East Knoyle July 29th

The Fleece July 20th

o2 Academy July 22nd

The Kills

In:Motion Summer Party

c.r.a.c.k.i.n.g music





The coming months look like an exciting time for Amsssshterdam-based producer Presk. Known by day as Pieter Williams, his rhythmic, soulful sound is dance floor-orientated, blending nu-house with techno and slipping seamlessly into the framework of 2011 bass music. He has an upcoming single on new Ramp subsidiary, Fourth Wave, dropping soon, followed shortly by a four track 12” on Doc Daneeka’s Ten Thousand Yen print. We’ve heard it, and it’s shithot. With these two hefty releases, expect Presk to arrive on the UK scene in a big way this summer.

Peddling refreshingly dumb and simple jangly-garage-pop, Ssssnakes channel the spirit of US punks the Descendents and The Dead Milkmen from the modest setting of sunny Swansea. Featuring members of one of the hottest young punk bands in the country, The Arteries, their self-released debut album Kissss Thissss is a scruffy little gem, a hash of boozed-up tales, lost-love laments and in-jokes, while the ‘I wanna go skateboarding’ mantra of Ssssnake or Die is a slacker call-to-arms. Don’t be a dick, stick it to the man. Ssssnakes rule, buy them a beer.

Tune: Headway

Tune: Pina Colada

Lori Campbell

Com Truise

While the female singer-songwriter market seems as flooded as flooded can be, Lori Campbell is too big a talent to ignore, as becomes clear within seconds of her live set. Cutting an engrossing onstage figure, her delicate, bohemian exterior belies an incredibly confident and assured voice which suggests an element of jazz influence, while her lovingly crafted folk-pop songs are at turns expertly fingerpicked or strummed on the guitar or ukelele. What truly stands out about the South Devon artist is how natural it all seems.

Sounding like he belongs in a classic sci-fi movie or a world where synthesisers are the only choice of musical instrument at your disposal, Com Truise is the moniker of Seth Haley from New York. His sounds hark back to classic Tangerine Dream and New Order yet still manage to sound incredibly relevant and up to date. Blending an intricate mix of washed out dreams with some really great dance floor moments, Com Truise will hopefully grace these shores soon. His debut album, Galactic Melt, is contender for our electronic record of the year.

Tune: Homesick

Tune: Cyanide Sisters

Past Lives

Futureboogie Recordings

Overlooked rather than new, Past Lives are a remarkable band. Based in Seattle, they formed from the ashes of one of the most criminally underrated bands of recent years, the Blood Brothers. Just as The Mars Volta seemed to inherit all the creativity from the demise of At the Drive-In, the three former members present in Past Lives have formed an entirely separate beast, though maintaining the intensity and grasp of dynamics seen in their previous work. Their album Tapestry Of Webs is an exercise in spacious art-rock/post-punk, the vitriol coming in timely bursts rather than prolonged attacks.

Futureboogie have long been championing the more disco influenced side of house music, with their highly successful night. Bristol-based Chistophe has been chosen to follow up a solid debut label release by Julio Bashmore with The Force, a retrospective slice of disco that would sound more at home in an NYC loft than anywhere else. With future releases already penned in and sounding great, Futureboogie Recordings is a new label free from Bristol cliché and championing emerging production talent. Check out the Futureboogie and Julio Bashmore Crackcasts from last year on the Crack Mixes page on Tune: Hex Takes Hold




hyetal mix a

Times New Viking track



d . o . t . h . i . s crack.recommends

Pride Week Various venues, Bristol. 9th - 17th July £8 per day Pride Week is set to be the most varied week of entertainment that Bristol has seen in a long time. Packed with films, live music, theatre, art and talks, Pride looks like it’s going to be a cultural explosion this year and a true celebration in promoting acceptance throughout Bristol. The highlights include: Tues 12 July Tobacco Factory The Darkling Plain A Cowardesque play set in the ‘40s when two guys go help the war effort and fall in love - the play follows the characters back home.

ATP - I’ll Be Your Mirror London Alexander Palace Portishead, PJ Harvey (23rd), Grinderman (24th), MF Doom (23rd), Beach House (24th), Liars (24th), Company Flow (23rd) 23-24th July £59 ATP presents its first UK, I’ll Be Your Mirror, two-day festival curated by Portishead and includes the likes of PJ Harvey, Grinderman, Caribou, Beach House and Godspeed You! Black Emperor Set in the wonderful Alexandra Palace, I’ll Be Your Mirror is two days of innovative music and a brilliant opportunity to see some of the most groundbreaking acts of recent times, as well as two performances by Portishead.

Summer Programme RWA From June 6th The RWA has announced its summer programme and the most striking inclusion is surely Damien Hirst’s Charity – a 22 ft. high sculpture which will find its home on the building’s balcony, looking down at the Victoria Rooms’ Edward VII, for the next 12 months. The piece is based on the 60s and 70s charity box for the Spastics Society, a young girl with her leg in callipers carrying a teddy bear – an image which fell out of favour in the 80s, along with the charity with which it went hand in hand. This contribution from possibly the most celebrated artist of the past 20 years represents a real coup for the gallery.

Wed 13 July Arnolfini Beautiful Thing screening, A critically acclaimed 1996 UK film with massive gay following and gorgeous storyline Thurs 14 July Amy Lane headlines an all-star stand-up evening and features the fabulous Sing Out Bristol.

Kelis headlining Pride Day Castle Park 16th July £10

Jamaica Street Open Studios. Jamaica Street Studio 22nd-24th July Free

Underhill Festival East Knoyle, Wiltshire Mystery Headliner, Martyn (live), Julio Bashmore, Richy Ahmed, Zombie Disco Squad, Krafty Kuts 29th and 30th of July £46

Kelis is the kind of popstar we like. A little bit risqué, very catchy songs and real attitude, which makes Pride Bristol’s capture of her to headline their Pride Day a real coup. Big American popstars don’t usually make the pilgrimage to Bristol, so her performance in Castle Park is an essential treat for those who like quality pop music.

Underhill festival is doing something different in mixing electronic music in the evening with Balkan flavours during the day. It looks like it’s going to be banging. An hour-drive out of Bristol, the festival has three stages; The Balklanarama tent, Pelski Dance tent and the Underhill stage. Each night the tents get taken over by a selection of Bristol’s finest promoters including Blowpop, Crazylegs and The Breakfast Club, who are running their tent in conjunction with Crack Magazine. Underhill is set to get you dancing all day and stomping all night.

The Garden Festival Petrcane, Croatia Art Department, Wolf + Lamb, Soul Clap, Odyssey, Larry Heard 6th – 13th july £93

Antlers Anatomy Show 2 Park Street, Bristol July 9th 6 - 9pm FREE

The Garden Festival is undoubtedly one of the finest festivals on our radar this year. Even though Garden has only been going for five years it’s made a massive name for itself for those in the know. Set in an idyllic location, Garden takes place over a week in the pine covered peninsula of Petrcane in Croatia. Disco, house and funk flavours are the order of the day and the festival features boat parties, late nights and most of all...sun.

In conjunction with the Bristol Pride week Antlers Gallery’s fourth group exhibition, Anatomy, sees five artists come together to produce work that explores the human form as a means of gaining a fuller understanding of who we are. Working with a variety of different mediums from drawing, sculpture and painting, the work is wide-ranging and powerful. Exhibiting artists include Crack favourites Tom Mead, along with Ellie Coates, Laura Wady, Ryan Hodge and Tim Lane.

Jamaica Street Studios in Stokes Croft is home to a whole host of enthusiastic and ambitious artists. A perfect addition to the community, the studios are a true creative hub in the heart of Stokes Croft and looking round them will undoubtedly showcase a rich and varied selection of artwork. This year’s open studio will include artists from Stroud Valley Arts – a contemporary arts space from Gloucester.

Madame Geneva’s 69 Gloucester Road, Bristol The lovely people who gave us the Mothers Ruin pub have now given the former Hobgoblin pub on Gloucester Road a bit of a facelift. The new place, now under the slightly Moulin Rouge sounding title of Madame Geneva’s is, described by the owners as “Gloucester Road’s new party bar”. Expect to see the same Mother’s Ruin standard of cheap drinks, live music and no entry fees. Ever.


Full Moon Orchestra 15 Jun & 13 Aug, 7pm Free/All invited

GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN The Rest Is Silence 11 Jun 7pm £5/£4

Faster Than Sound: Brainwaves Mira Calix, Anna Meredith, Loop.P.H + Aurora Orchestra 16 Jun 7pm £10/£8

EXHIBITIONS Magical Consciousness Until 3 Jul Felix Gonzalez-Torres / Hague Yang 16 Jul–4 Sep

Emanat / Wanda & Nova Deviator Frozen Images 23 Jun 8.30pm £10/£8 Laïla Diallo Triple bill 21 Jul 7.30pm £8/£7 Geraldine Pilgrim Handbag (part of Harbour Festival 2011) 30 Jul £3/£2

11am–6pm Tue–Sun & Bank Hol Mons. Free FILM Including Tarkovsky’s Mirror, Cocteau’s Orphée, Jarman’s Blue + a special screening of The Lost World on 25 Jun with live accompaniment by Scissor Sisters John (JJ) Garden.






Image: At-any-moment- something-else, performer: Theo Clinkard, Photo: Ludovic Des Cognet. From Arnolfini Dance Season 11 Jun – 7 Aug





B ot any 11 Christ mas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BS. 9 - 30

June 2011.

11 - 7 daily.


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// any problems? Contact our mavis.botswinga@


Mavis Botswinga. //

©Paul Piebinga

When Crack was having luncheon in its favourite sandwich eatery, we stumbled across Mavis. Two hours later she’d told us how to sort things out with our girlfriends and had given us advice on sex, drugs and how to survive this mean game called life. She sorted us right out. We promptly asked her whether she fancied helping Bristol with its crack problems. This is what she's got to say.


Aight Mavis,

Sup Mavis,

I think that Carling is the best drink, but my friends say that Strongbow is the best. Which one do you think is the best drink?

I’m 23 and I haven’t got a kid yet. All my friends have got kids and they say it’s the best thing they ever done. Should I just go into town and get boffed by some pillock, or should I hold out for the right bloke?

I’d say I’m pretty cool, y’know? I live in trendy Stokes Croft, I gots a leather jacket and I never forget to roll up the sleeves of my ironic slogan tees, but there is something bothering me. Sometimes, at work, I like to write lists about music: bands who are overrated, bands who are great, things that make me ragingly cool - and trust me, I’m never wrong. The thing is I’m well into Prince, everyone knows it, it’s not a secret. But no one truly understands the depth of my love; I don’t just love him, I want to be him. Sometimes when I’m making sweet and tender love to my girlfriend, I picture his face on her body. Is this wrong? Do I have a problem?

Mike, 16, Lawrence Hill Tell me, Mavis: Belinda, 23, Swindon Mavis drink gin, wid a slice. Mavis:

Dear Mavis, I run a branch of a highly profitable supermarket chain and people just keep throwing things at me every time I try and open my shop, and when they aren’t throwing things they are just playing bongos outside. What do bongos do? I think they might be trying to summon the vegan God of war to smite my produce and me. Have they not tried the two quid meal deal, it’s unbelievable value.

I think this is a big decision. Having kids isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Trust. I’ve got two, and the lad’s alright but the girl is a spiteful little bombaclart. It depends how fine a bloke you’re thinking of holding out for. Let’s be honest, the chances of you finding yourself a Pierce Brosnan lookalike with a few quid in his pocket, a Citroen Berlingo and a cock like a baby’s arm holding an orange are slim. But if you’d be happy with a kind-hearted simpleton with a fork-lift licence, then give it a year or two before you start allowing randomers into your temple of inner vagina.

Paul, 37, Stokes Croft Mavis: Mavis, In the war of food retail, let only sub-intelligent 16 year olds in balaclavas throw the first stone and the last stone and all the other stones. Let everyone else just watch. Two quid meal deal is pimpin’… I like the prawn sagaloo.

I keep hearing people talking about condoms in dayto-day chat. What is condom? Cheers,

Prince Lover, 26, Montpellier Mavis: Let me reassure you, Prince Lover, cause I can tell you’re a bit of a tortured soul - there’s nothing wrong with harbouring special feelings for good old Prince. I’ve been there myself. I’ve spent many an evening imagining his slippery tongue slathering over my face and neck. His dulcet tones and mind-boggling musicianship charmed a generation. But listen, this kind of obsession doesn’t get you anywhere. You can waste months, years even, just dreaming and wishing, but you have to face facts - Prince is never gonna bone you, and you’re never gonna bone Prince. So sort yourself out, get your head straight, and start picturing a more attainable pop star’s face when you’re on the job. Mark Morrison or summin.

Pete, 21, Bedminster Mavis: Condom is difficult to define. It’s a state of mind as well as a statement of intent. When two people like each other very much ... actually, ask yer fuckin’ parents.

If you have any problems that need addressing please get in contact and drop our Mavis an email:




Portishead //

Š John Minton

Bristol’s most important band speak out:


Radio One’s king of dance music Pete Tong was interviewing a wellknown Bristol producer on the radio the other day. When discussing Bristol’s place in the UK’s musical order, you could feel the direction the interview was about to take. Crack waited for the obvious. “Bristol has a very rich tapestry of music … Are you influenced by artists from back in the day? ... Going back to the days of Massive Attack, Smith and Mighty and Roni Size, do you think there is still a Bristol sound? ... I can hear a bit of Bristol in your music.” Aside from hearing nothing of said artists in the music of the producer in question, the commonly held ‘Bristol Sound’ stereotype that has plagued and continues to plague Bristol is an insult to those creative people that make Bristol such a rich and diverse place to live these days. One band that was left off Pete’s ‘Bristol Sound’ list, perhaps with very good reason, is Portishead. To the uneducated, Portishead, comprising of Geoff Barrow, Adrian Utley and lead singer Beth Gibbons, released one of the most sonically groundbreaking records of all time in 1994 with the haunting and beautiful, Dummy, which won the much coveted 1995 Mercury Music Prize. Their self-titled follow-up was released in 1997 to much acclaim, and, along with Bristol counterparts Massive Attack were subsequently dumped into a new genre. Trip-hop was born. Aside from being a music-writer buzzword, both Portishead and Massive Attack failed to identify with the genre, and the term morphed on a wider scale to incorporate others who were making bass-influenced music at the time. The term ‘Bristol Sound’ became commonplace, and this collective stereotyping of Bristolian music has continued ever since. In truth the musical tapestry of Bristol has progressed a long way since 1997. For Portishead, a 10 year hiatus followed. The returned in 2008 with an updated, tougher sound and a discernibly harder edged record. On the aptly titled Third, Portishead did much to disassociate themselves from the stereotype. On standout tracks Machine Gun and Silence, the band showed themselves in a new light, combining experimental sonics and heightening the interplay between Barrow’s underlying hip-hop beatsmith credentials, Utley’s menacing guitar and, of course, Gibbons’s chilling vocals. If the line-up and the integral parts had remained the same, the output was updated and utterly thrilling. The sparseness and stoned mantra of trip-hop’s heyday was replaced with diversity and sinister overtones that showcased Portishead as band awake and as potent as they’ve ever been. After Third, collective solo projects and musical interests were reconvened, and the opportunity to curate a two-day All Tomorrow’s Parties event called I’ll Be Your Mirror at Alexandra Palace presented itself. After programming a similar event for ATP in 2008, it was a musical institution that the band felt comfortable working with as well as giving them the chance to return to live action together before a string of summer festival dates. Featuring some of the most captivating artists of recent times, as well as a few classics, the line-up showcases a Portishead on the cusp of relevant music. PJ Harvey, Caribou, Liars, Beach House, MF Doom, Grinderman and Godspeed You! Black Emperor have all been sourced and the venue, the beautiful North London raised palace, should make the event a true spectacle. Crack caught up with Geoff and Adrian at their Easton studio to work out the future, the past and everything else.

How did the ATP thing come about? Why did it feel right to get back into it and do I’ll Be Your Mirror? Adrian: We’d been talking about touring, and we did something with Barry (Hogan, founder of ATP) before in 2008. It’s all tied in nicely and it’s really, really cool to get bands films and books we all like and get them in one place. It’s getting that wish list together, which is always fun, but also supporting ATP, which is such a cool festival. Geoff: It was a bit of weird one. I knew Barry and Deborah from the 2008 one we curated in Minehead and we trust them massively to do the right thing. They are friends of ours now. It seemed like the right home for us. Because festivals are going a certain direction, you are more likely to find N-Dubz playing a festival now than you are someone like Mogwai. It’s good people are seeing live music, but it’s just about who you can trust. We did it with ATP before and it was brilliant so they came back and asked if we’d put on another one. So we thought we’d do it and then go to the US, because in touring the last record we didn’t go there – we only played Coachella. So we’re doing another ATP at Asbury Park in New Jersey. It’s the home of Bruce Springsteen; the town mayor is really on board with it and is closing the promenade for the day. It’s on the beach and it’s going to be great.

Who is particularly exciting you on the bill you’ve curated? Adrian: Polly Harvey, Grinderman and Liars especially. Godspeed You! Black Emperor took ages to confirm, so now we’ve got them it’s great. I’m really excited about showing a film by Mark Cousins in which he went to Iraq and gave cameras to kids and made a documentary film about the war zones. He’s giving a talk and showcasing the movie. Richard Ayoade, who directed Submarine is also giving a talk. Geoff: PJ Harvey has released one of the best records I’ve heard in a long time. Grinderman are great; Company Flow are great and classic. We just drew up a wish list and found out who was around. We had some people on the list that broke up 20 years ago, so there are a lot of conversations that went on. Barry ultimately has his finger on the pulse of interesting music pretty much worldwide. Whether it be a commercial band that people know, or absolutely iconic acts like My Bloody Valentine – they trusted Barry to look after their interests and reform. I was worried about it being a little soulless, so we’ve tried to do things with Barry and Debbie to continue an ATP vibe. There’ll be odd things round each corner when you’re there. It won’t be like you’re going to see Elbow, get your pint, watch ‘em and walk off. ATP has always had that constant artistic flow to it, so there’ll be other things going on when you’re there. At Alexandra Palace you won’t be camping, but the stuff we’re putting on there will be interesting. You’ve gone for a strong venue with Alexandra Palace – an iconic place to hold the festival in London? Adrian: We didn’t pick it. I’ve never been there. I’ve never seen it. My only concern is what it’s going to sound like in there, with lots of glass and high ceilings. I’m sure it’ll be fine. Were the acts chosen to play a joint decision between the band Geoff: We pass everything through Beth, but she’s not massively knowledgeable of modern music. That’s not a bad thing. I don’t think she particularly listens to much modern music, she just writes music. So Adrian and myself, through Invada [Barrow’s record label], other people we’ve worked with and people we like, have a brilliant ticket to choose bands we’re really into. Why it feel the right time for Portishead to tour again as you have some festival dates coming up over the summer. Adrian: We want to do a new record and for the last record we only did six months touring. Not enough really. People were popping their heads up everywhere saying how great it was, which was brilliant, so not enough people saw that show. I also think it’s good because it gets us all together again.

In terms of the last record (Third) there was a massive gap (10 years) between second and third albums. Why was there such long break? Geoff: My reasoning was we had a bit of a shocker the last time we were out there in 1998. The tour was very long and as a result people got divorced, got ill and it wasn’t a pleasurable experience – the whole thing wasn’t – so we just thought, ‘is this want we want to do?’ So I pissed off to Australia, Adrian took some time off, Beth wanted to regroup and there was nothing to say for us, especially in my case. I needed to get all the crap I had in me right out there and rediscover love again for music. It wasn’t till I came back to England, set-up Invada and started checking out music I’ve never listened that all of a sudden there was a real natural growth for me. Adrian: We finished touring and the whole period was really fucking intense and I’d had enough of it. We tried to mix the live album we did as a very final thing and we were trashed. I just subsequently got on with other things. It was quite obvious we didn’t want to do Portishead anymore. It just happened to be a good period of time until we wanted to start working on a new album because we had other projects going on. I worked on Beth’s album, Out Of Season, with Rustin Man and a lot of other things. That period, around 97/98, would have been the peak of the commercial success of the trip-hop sound. Geoff: We were in that world in 1994, but from that time onwards, because we toured in America, we missed all the crap going on in the UK. I think the main bands that were involved with it didn’t want anything to do with it. Adrian: The bands that were copying the style and all of the sounds you could stereotypically call ‘trip-hop’, they disappeared didn’t they? Because they had fuck all else to say other than copy what they heard from this area, or whatever. So they fucked off. The people that were making that kind of music have moved on. Geoff: It’s a standard quote from us: ‘Made in Bristol, but named in London.’ I really like Tricky and Massive Attack, but I didn’t like much else that came out that had the trip-hop label attached to it. So was the fact these bands disappeared a vindication for the quality of your music – that despite a 10-year gap, you continued to remain relevant? Adrian: Well, we didn’t listen to trip-hop to make it, we listened to hiphop and dance music and dub and whatever else our influences were at that time. So that originality hopefully shone through.

Geoff: We just want to go out and enjoy it again. The last tour we did for Third was good, but it was a bit short. It was like, ‘oh, is that it?’ I also think the relationship between radio and records have pushed touring a different way now. I think releasing a record and playing a gig are equally as important. So we need to do gigs because we don’t get a lot of radio support as various powers don’t deem us to be as important.

When Crack was young and into the first two Portishead records, we found ourselves constantly asking ‘why the fuck aren’t they making a new record?’ So the direction you went in on Third was a bit of a shock – it seemed like a rejection of what you’d call ‘trip-hop’. Was the period of circumstantial change you mentioned earlier reflected in the third record?

So in terms of Portishead’s direction, do you feel like you are building back up to creating new music again, like you’re building momentum as a band?

Adrian: The period in between nailed the fact we didn’t want to sound like that any more.

Adrian: I think that’s exactly what it is. After we’ve finished touring, I think we’ll be doing Portishead again. So what we are doing right now is trying to wrap up all the different side projects we’ve got going on. I’ve been looking at lots of old Portishead videos and remembering what I did before. Geoff: The idea is we finish in November, go away for Christmas and then come back and start writing. At the moment I haven’t got anything in me that wants to bust out. I think I understand where the music needs to go, but I’m not ready to start it, and now we have the tour. So what side projects have you been working on? Adrian: I’ve been working on a soundtrack to a film that we are showing at ATP (The Passion of Joan of Arc). So I’ve been working with Will Gregory from Goldfrapp on this. It’s got lots of overlapping electric guitars and a medieval choir; it’s quite out there. I’ve been getting into playing more orchestral music and getting more involved with that for the film. I’ve also been massively getting into Steve Reich. He writes lots of minimalist orchestral music along with Terry Riley. That’s influenced me massively of late. Geoff: Working with a number of artists on Invada, and recently the soundtrack for a film.

Geoff: For me, I’d said everything I wanted to say. I had to discover something new. You don’t want to repeat. You’ve released an album in 1998 - in 2008 do you really want to repeat yourself? It would have been fucking awful. It’s easy for me to say that, but we wouldn’t have ever wanted to do that. Anyone who saw there was 10 years between releases would automatically get the impression the process must have been really fraught? Adrian: It does sound a bit dramatic, what with Geoff going to Australia and a coming together again after ten years, but it wasn’t that bad at all really. There wasn’t any animosity or anything. In a band there is always some kind of shit going on. Beth wasn’t around at that time when we first got back together before we started Third, so it was just me and Geoff hanging out together in a little room and we had a massive buzz about the music again. Previously we’d lost that and we got it back. Geoff: It wasn’t fraught personally; it was just difficult to write and to discover new angles. There was very little sampling. It’s not laptop. I listen to a lot of music now and I hear laptops. I just hear the Apple noise. You’ve clearly never been a fan of overly clean production? Geoff: Individuality comes from using different instruments and different - - - - ->


© Benoit Peverelli

“A prime example of someone who was political through Bristol’s

history and punk ethic was Tricky, but now no one is saying anything. ”

tools and I think that different tools make different products and different art – even if the tools are a bit fucked. If you use the same tools you can end up with a very similar sound. Even stuff that kind of makes out it’s dirty is just a digital distortion that pretends to create excitement, but actually doesn’t. It’s just people go, ‘OK, here’s quite a good idea, let’s distort the fuck out of it and make the kids start jumping.’ So you aren’t massive fans of dubstep then? Adrian: I don’t really know much about dubstep. I think it probably was interesting. Geoff: Is it dead yet? No, it’s just commercially morphed in some quarters so it’s now just more closely related to dirty electro music. Geoff: That’s what happened to jungle music. You always get some people who are really creative and develop their own sound. Then you get people who bastardise the sound and whack a massive bassline and distortion over the top. Unfortunately all those guys who created original dubstep are probably all going, ‘ah fucking hell, man. What happened?’ Adrian: Drum and bass was very cool and then it became very un-cool and the same with trip-hop. But music is so fast-moving and exciting. I remember going to Roni Size’s early nights at the Thekla. Fucking brilliant. Really loud and really intense, but music moves on. The same will happen with dubstep. Do you think it’s just a case of growing up and becoming more mature in you tastes? Adrian: Well I am listening to more orchestral music these days and I don’t know whether that’s an age thing or I’m just thoroughly fucking bored with what’s going on elsewhere. Though it is great you’ve got kids who are 21 still making music that makes me go, ‘how the fuck are you doing that?’ I would just never do it myself or even pontificate on it. Do you think it’s all just about bringing it down to the lowest common denominator?

nuke everything to the ground and start again. That’s definitely Geoff ’s approach. That’s why we get on so well. He’s much more vocal in the press than I am, I’m much more reticent because I don’t want all the shit coming back at me. I just find it really funny. As a front women of a successful band, I can’t think of another woman, other than Karin from The Knife perhaps, who is such an enigma to people as Beth. She doesn’t do interviews and keeps herself entirely away the limelight. Adrian: You can get to know Beth through her music. It’s not a deliberate marketing move to have Beth who doesn’t speak – she’s just not comfortable talking in interviews, but she is comfortable talking. I couldn’t tell you why. Just generally she’s uncomfortable in that situation. When she was doing her solo album with Rustin Man, I produced a couple of tracks and played a little bit on it on, but it wasn’t my project. Then when we were on tour, she asked me to so some radio interview for her - it barely had anything to do with me! Geoff: She basically is a very, very interesting person that I’ve been lucky enough to work with throughout all these years. She is incredibly truthful and she has an amazing existence of not being caught up in any bullshit. I totally admire the way she lives. She is incredibly passionate about human beings, yet at the same time doesn’t stand for any crap. I think sometimes I’ve said things that have misrepresented her or the writer has misrepresented what I’ve said about her. I totally respect her and always want to continue working with her. And Adrian for that matter. She must have one of the most distinctive voices ever? When you are crafting music, do you always have her voice in mind? Geoff: She writes the songs and we all produce together. It’s a struggle to try and write good songs, it can take a long time and it’s not easy, but she sometimes has the natural ability to sing something and we all stand back and go, ‘oh wow!’ whereas other times it might take three years. Adrian: She’s always writing and working. You never know where it’s going with her. She’s always up to something for films or other artists. She’s very articulate, very musical and very driven and focused.



So is there anyone standing up against what you call this ‘dumbing down’ who you admire? Geoff: Does anyone know any young artist who has any kind of socio-political agenda to their music? Even if it was Radiohead with OK Computer that would still work. That was quite underlying though wasn’t it? Geoff: It doesn’t even matter if it was underlying. There isn’t even that. A prime example of someone who was political through Bristol’s history and punk ethic was Tricky, but now no one is saying anything. Is there a band who is actually political in Stokes Croft? Somehow someone has got a massive bread-knife and cut right down the middle of how music and political movement can go hand in hand. They aren’t combined now, and somewhere like Stokes Croft should be supporting that. I wouldn’t expect Portishead to connect with an 18-year old, but imagine there was a Public Enemy or a Rakim or even an Ice Cube singing something like Today Was A Good Day, it would be great. Even early Eminem would work right now. Odd Future and Tyler, The Creator are a good bet now, maybe that’ll galvanise the kids. Stokes Croft is the epitome of somewhere with all the right intentions but no execution though, isn’t it? A great attitude, but very little musical innovation, and a lot of wreck heads. Adrian: There are some great things going on in Stokes Croft. It reminds me a lot of Berlin in many ways. The look of it and the fact there is a bit of power to the people. The arts culture there is great and the fact people are looking to do positive things with disused buildings. People there are really looking into being creative. It’s not even that underground. On another level, what about that shit that dominates the skyline from my window (Cabot Circus). It’s like a great icon to spending and then there is the brilliance of Stokes Croft happening right next to it. It’s just utter shite. Why have we not got a concert venue in Bristol? Cabot Circus is just what we need when the country is plummeting into penury and we’ve spent the fuck out of our collective credit cards buying gold gates. You are quite vocal about the state of modern music, is the lack of politics a large part of that?

Where do you think the sound will go on the next record? Geoff: Well, basically people talk about trip-hop or whatever – that style of music ended up on an ice-cream advert. It’ll be the same ice-cream advert, just with a dubstep beat this time. It happens so quickly now. The advertisers go straight to the pop stars and the producers and loads of them sell their art really cheaply. Is sell-out advertising music a frustration of both of you? Geoff: I’ve got nothing against those styles of music and how people make them, but it just gets to the point where it’s like having a preset button on a keyboard. Like hitting dubstep preset. Hip-hop preset. It’s the new generic bossanova, quick-time, disco beat preset tunes you get on your keyboard. It’s the same shit isn’t it? The trouble is the general public don’t care whether it’s the imitation or if it’s the real thing. Somehow the two got mangled up somewhere. Adrian: I don’t really watch TV or adverts. I appreciate they’ve got to be there. Shit has to be advertised for you to know it’s there. Filmmakers get a break through advertising and that can be good. Sometimes you get a great ad with very cool music, but very rarely because advertising agencies that commission them are moneymaking cunts, the lot of them. There must be things in modern culture that do excite you? Adrian: I’m quite excited by modern culture because I’ve got a shit filter I can switch on and off and certain things don’t bother me. Just don’t watch the telly. I definitely don’t do Facebook or Twitter or anything like that shit. I’ve just never done it. I know there are some interesting things I can talk about on there, but the plethora of shite that comes out of it – I’d just get deluged and overwhelmed. I do worry about some of the things I don’t get involved with, but at the end of the day it’s just more cack to go through. On a personal level, only people that are really concerned about being informed about everything really go in for that shit. Me, I’ve got two kids and I’ve got other things I’m interested in. I’ve only got a finite amount of time and brain space to deal with it all. I can’t process that much information. As a band do you hang out as mates at all? Geoff: We can do, but we work together so closely, the time we aren’t together we don’t tend to. We’ve got families and kids now. Adrian: I have such a laugh with Geoff still after all these years. Together we have the ability to destroy each other and also this fantastic, sarcastic ability to slag everything off in the world. It’s like a flamethrower. We

Geoff: More refined in the sense of traditional songwriting, but more sonically intriguing. There are things on Third that didn’t need to be there. That is an example of how difficult writing can be. Commercially? There is no question of ‘commercially’ any more; you’ve just got to write the best thing you can. Maybe in the 90s people used to ask, ‘what is your single going to be?’ It just doesn’t matter any more. The only thing you can do is write the best song you can write.

Geoff: Because there are less jobs being created at a high level, there is less input from more people, so instead of looking at radio and TV and now even the internet in some places, interesting things are harder to find. So unless you have a back-story with a celebrity, it doesn’t work for you to get exposed. So modern indie music frustrates you then? It’s all got a bit watered down hasn’t it?

Sometimes singles pick themselves, don’t they?

Adrian: I just don’t listen to them.

Geoff: Yeah, the one that doesn’t go on for 12 minutes.

Geoff: I’ve listened to people like Florence And The Machine and I just don’t get it. I’m not being an old twat, but when I listen to The Horrors and The xx and other things, it seems they don’t get a shot. It’s very difficult to get investment in art and it means smaller labels have to spend 10-15 grand per release just to get people to hear it and it shouldn’t be like that. You see touted bands that aren’t particularly good, but because they have pluggers, advertising and everything behind them they do well. You’ve now got people going, ‘oh yeah I really like indie music, I really like Ellie Goulding.’ Polly Harvey has probably made the best British album for many years with Let England Shake. That should really be rated. You don’t fuck with Polly Harvey. If people want to get grimy and dirty with her past and her gigs and what she’s done over the years, she’s been there man! She hasn’t gone to manufactured stage school or played Radio One’s Big Weekend. But you have this new crop of people who sell records all straight out of stage school. No! No!

Do you ever feel pressure to put out a record? Portishead have always seemed to be band who are very autonomous and in control of their own destiny? Adrian: It was an attitude that we started off with that made sure losing control was never going to happen. It’s not like we rested on our laurels. We have to work – I’ve got expenses, so has Geoff. We have to work, but the amount of things we’ve turned down is ridiculous. We did use our music in a commercial sense once and we really fucking regretted it. Our premise has never been about making money or piling albums out. It’s kept what we have done special between us. I remember working on a more commercial project with Geoff and saying: “I don’t think we should be doing this together, it’s tainting our musical relationship. You can’t really be arsed and I can’t really be arsed and I don’t want that.”

It’s not a very real platform for our rock stars is it? Geoff: The only pressure I feel is from competition in the world. If someone drops something that is really interesting, then I take it personally that I haven’t done that piece. That’s more of an old hip-hop thing really. Someone would drop a beat and there would be a lot of envy. That’s disappeared over the years. That kind of rivalry in music has disappeared and now it’s more of a rival with modern media as it’s so fucked. In what way is the modern media fucked? Geoff: Just the way the media reports politically, musically, whatever – it’s all spiraling down a plughole. The dumbing down of society, really. What we’ve tried to do with the label is try and get interesting music to people we know are going to dig it, but just don’t get to hear it. The dumbing down of the arts is insane. I really am totally excited by things like what is going on in Stokes Croft and the student riots in London. It creatively gives me a shot in the arm to think people care enough to put themselves in some kind of danger.

Geoff: There are so many really interesting people that don’t tick the boxes. You end up having to be grouped in a box like being geeky, or cool, or a rocker or whatever image Skins tells you real life is all about, but if you are actually a bit fucked and a bit different, people tell you that you’re fucking weird and they don’t want to know, when these are the most interesting people. You know Mumford And Sons – I don’t want my indie bands to be into pheasant shooting. I’ve got nothing against privileged people and I’ve been privileged, but my issue is if you do anything against the grain or you kick out against something and be a bit of a wanker, the industry won’t touch you. I would love a punk revival. Just not like The Libertines.


Tune: Silence




Living under a rock for a year crafting his first artist album has heralded magical results for Hyetal:

Š Shifteye



Crack is playing table football with Dave ‘Hyetal’ Corney and Matt ‘Julio You grew up in Southampton – when did you move to Bristol? Bashmore’ Walker and the score is 9-0 to Crack. The dreaded ‘whitewash’ // is imminent, when from nowhere a crashing drive from Hyetal’s That would have been around 2003. I’d been doing the whole band thing and that was what was keeping me in Southampton at that point. But goalkeeper ruins Crack’s dream of cleaning out the Bristol production when that came to an end, I had a load of mates in Bristol and I’d been twosome. You see, 10-1 just isn’t satisfying enough. Download the heading up here to stay all the time and really getting into the music. By new crack mix by that stage I was getting out of the whole rock band thing and listening to Just like his plastic man’s thunderbolt strike, Corney’s first album HYETAL @ more hip-hop, and I was making hip-hop as well. I was already up on a offering, Broadcast, arrived in Crack’s office stealthily and without warning. Although we knew he had been working on it for some time, lot of early electronic music, I’d be buying Tangerine Dream records to when it finally ghosted onto our desk it hit the stereo with perhaps a little sample and stuff like that. It feels like it’s all come full circle with what I’m doing now and using a lot of those influences on the album. less anticipation than it deserved. // So. You say you’ve been influenced by Tangerine Dream – a Broadcast is an astounding record; an aural representation of someone lot of synth-based music from the 70s and 80s also influenced taking a year out of their life to master their art and create a record you right? free from commercial constraint and cliché. We were taken aback, not Were you producing at this point? because his previous releases hadn’t hinted that he was capable of Yeah, I’d say late 70s early 80s was the high point for analog synth music, something so accomplished and expansive, but because very few records Yeah – really bad music! I was actually still on my MPC, which is what with that kind of technology really flourishing at the time. I’ve definitely actually make you sit up, drop whatever you are doing and take full I’d been using to make my hip-hop beats, and using old hardware to try referenced that in the album. frontal notice. and find a way to make that work for dubstep. Then I realised that Tom, who I knew from Rooted, was actually Peverelist. So I’d go into Rooted As the speed of musical diffusion astounds and confuses, technology The time you’ve spent in Bristol has coincided quite nicely with a and hand him CDs of my early, weird beats, and he’d actually listen to period where Bristolian producers have but been improving and progresses and shrinking attention spans infect everyone with musical them, even though they weren’t very good, and give me feedback and progressing constantly. Have you found the area to be a musical ADHD, any record that makes you do the aforementioned should be helped me out. hotbed for you to do what you’re doing? cherished. Harnessing influences as diverse as brooding John Carpenter movie scores, dubstep, trip-hop and even garage, talking to Corney gives The album has quite a underlying unnerving, you a real idea of what it’s like to be an electronic brooding feel. Was that a conscious thing? music obsessive living in 2011. Like any mid-twenty something raised on a diet of “That’s what’s always been great about Bristol, you look at I think that when I’m working on my own I get a bit more introspective, so maybe I lean towards that hip-hop, garage and R’n’B, with his tastes maturing kind of ‘brooding’ stuff. I quite enjoy collaborations, and diversifying with age, he quotes a baffling array its history of bands and musicians and even though there’s that’s obviously more fun, but writing by myself is a of musical inspirations during Crack’s interview very personal process so that ended up being one of with him. On a simplistic level, this goes a long always a common thread of shared influences and ideas, the aesthetics of the album. But also I think at points way to explaining why Broadcast is such a multiit gets a bit beachy – y’know, 80s beach music. As I faceted record. they all sound completely different. ” said, I was writing it for over a year, so obviously it represents a range of emotions, the feel of that year. With as many tracks equally at home on a stereosystem as well as a nightclub, and at the same time With a lot of the current dubstep scene taking a retaining a level of immediacy as not to be placed in turn towards the formulaic, would you say you the chin-stroking ‘intelligent dance music’ bracket, Broadcast’s crossover Yeah, it’s definitely played a huge part in the music I’m making now. were looking to disassociate yourself from that label and scene appeal has already seen it receive highly complimentary reviews from a with this record? number of credible quarters. Dark, at times, intense, and a constantly I came to Bristol as a proper hip-hop person, but it never fully clicked with me – I felt there was something missing. I guess around 2003 when intriguing listen, its stock is surely set to grow as the year goes on. I wouldn’t necessarily say I was trying to disassociate myself from the first Dizzee Rascal album had come out, that was an introduction dubstep – more that I was trying to distance myself from everything. I to grime and stuff. I got a job at a record shop just a few doors up from As he sits on Crack’s sofa discussing influences from his former metal band to Tangerine Dream, it’s not hard not to feel a tad dwarfed by his where Rooted Records was based, it was called Disk and Tape. I’d walk was really into all that stuff quite early on, so when it started to get quite formulaic I found it quite easy to move away from it. And then when UK musical knowledge. An understated chap with a cheeky sense of humour, past Rooted every day and they had a sign up in the window saying the look of satisfaction as his thunderbolt went in was visible. Things for ‘Bristol’s only Dubstep and Grime Specialist’, which seemed crazy to me funky got really big, that seemed to be a spawning ground for people because I didn’t have any idea what those genres of music were. So I with new ideas, and I got really into that, but I couldn’t make it. It’s so Hyetal are looking as bright as this record. reliant on natural drum programming and groove, and I love listening to wandered into Rooted very nervously with my long hair and not looking that sort of stuff but when I’m making music, but I like my drums to be anything like a dance guy and picked up some grime records. Plus their whole collection was completely integrated, so I didn’t really know what really rigid and machine-like. So the album’s out now – how long did it take to put together? I was picking up. With so many Bristol producers really pushing on at the moment, Well, it took about a year to write the whole thing. I’d already released would you say you feel part of a sort of collective, centering Phoenix on another label, and I guess I’d written that at the start of last You’d never come across dubstep? around yourself, Idle Hands, Julio Bashmore etc. year, or even before then. After that came out it marked the start of a new direction for me, and it seemed to be a sign that this kind of material No. To me it just seemed like grime without the MCs on it. I was treating Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of exciting music happening, but it’s great that could work on an album. So from before last summer until recently. It’s it as, music is music. Then Rephlex did these records called Grime, which everyone seems to have their own tone and is doing something individual. were amazing. basically been in production for a year. Obviously, mine and Matt (Bashmore)’s solo stuff is completely different. That’s what’s always been great about Bristol, you look at its history There are a lot of producers who never get round to actually I didn’t know that – you wouldn’t normally associate Rephlex of bands and musicians and even though there’s always a common with grime music. doing an album, and you’re making one so early in your career. thread of shared influences and ideas, they sound completely different. Was this something you always had in mind – that you wanted to Even going back to Massive Attack and Tricky and Portishead – they all No totally, but they were really early on it – that was probably around make an album? sounded completely different to one another. 2004. They had really early stuff from Kode9 and Digital Mystikz on them, along with Plastician and Slaughter Mob and stuff like that. So Yeah, definitely. I grew up listening to a lot of music that was essentially So about your collaboration with Julio Bashmore as Velour – how that was how I kind of stumbled onto that sound. album-based. Albums have always been really important to me, and it’s did that come about? always been an ambition to do one. I found myself falling into making So Rooted played a big part in developing you musically? dubstep and bass music, but my background is in more rock, songI’m not quite sure how Matt and me found each other, but I’m pretty based music. sure it was on the internet. I think it was. I really liked the stuff he had on Yeah, definitely man. Y’know, I’d certainly never DJ’ed dance music, and Southampton didn’t have any independent record stores, and there was his Soundcloud, and I think he liked my FACT mix. I’m not sure who first So were you in bands when you were younger? contacted whom, but there was a mutual appreciation there. We found no sort of hip-hop scene there ... out we had some really key influences in common, like Prince and Daft Yeah, I was in a whole bunch of bands when I was in school, of varying Punk. So we started getting together and bumping heads, and it ended It did have Craig David though. quality. There were a whole bunch of them, but the only one of any note up being a kind of R’n’B, house thing. Very eclectic. was a kind of metal band called Dilutral... True, it did have Craig David. And Artful Dodger. But I’d missed out on You must be pleased with the reaction the album has received? the whole independent record store culture, and especially dance record That’s a proper metal band name! shops have a reputation for being sort of cliquey. But it was really cool, I’m really pleased – I had no idea how it would be received, I just did Definitely, yeah. We stuck with that for a while, around the age of 16- they were all really nice and that. And then I went to DMZ (one of the it. I only knew it didn’t sound like anything else in my immediate peer original London dubstep nights), it was almost like a pilgrimage. I just 17. We were into that sort of scene, and at the time it seemed like a group. It’s great to see the reviews though. Hopefully people will keep on booked a bus to London and decided to try and force some friends in serious thing, in a band with your mates touring around the country. enjoying the record and come and check out the live shows. London to come out. I put a message on a local forum saying ‘look out We self-released a couple of EPs and sold them on the internet – about 10/12 years ago now – so we were pretty early on the internet thing. We for a guy with long hair dressed in an Adidas tracksuit top’. So I get there and I get a tap on the shoulder and it was this guy Tim, who’s a dub boy managed to sell quite a few. - - - - - - - - - - Tune: Searchlight from Bristol. He took me and introduced me to a bunch of people – Pinch and people like that.


~ A photograph of Anthony, his sister and their pony Misty Photograph by Enid Michael © 1971

anthony burrill // crack meets an artist making some of the most iconic imagery IN RECENT YEARS:

Anthony Burrill describes himself as “a graphic artist situated somewhere in between a fine artist and a commercial artist.” This is a pretty spot on introductory one-liner but it doesn’t really do him justice. Within the mire of artists navigating between the fine and the commercial, Anthony Burrill has carved out a trademark style that has seen him gain wide recognition across the artistic spectrum. As an example, the gallery hosting his upcoming exhibition describes him as the “Godfather of the graphic art scene.” Arguably the most fascinating thing about Burrill’s work to date is the winding back catalogue of projects that have contributed to where he finds himself today. Through completing website designs for Kraftwerk, a few advertising campaigns for the infamous Hans Brinker budget hotel in Amsterdam, some more work for clients like The London Underground and The British Library and a string of acclaimed exhibitions and artist residencies across the globe – you have a very accomplished artist. These multi-faceted and varying projects have contributed toward Burrill finding his character style and developing his signature groove.

The persuasive nature of Burrill’s imagery is gold dust within the bulging, saturated world of repetitive typography. There is a real universal feel to Burrill’s work. In and amongst the information stacks, the wobbling billboards, the advertisments, and overflowing lists of laws and rules and do’s and don’t’s in the graphical typography world, Burrill’s work provides a breath of fresh air. The punchiness of Burrill’s woodblock posters may appear simple enough, but this is where the real challenge inherent in his work lies. How much easier is it to doodle for hours and hours creating endless patterns that wobble and morph and transform as they go along than it is to create something concise with three or four lines, structured and meaningful and clean around the edges? Anthony Burrill’s posters communicate both vocally and visually. Steeped in simplicity, yet traditionally and complexly produced, Burrill’s use of words make them both explosively warming and completely beautiful. When looking at his posters you are reminded of road signs, public information films, tube maps, war posters, protests, motivational

speeches, street art and shop front eye-candy. They remind of both the visuals that we take for granted in our everyday life and typography that makes us stop and pay attention. It’s often harder to say something meaningful with only a few words than it is in an entire book, page or over a verse-chorus-verse-chorus. It can be argued there isn’t anything more affirming than a simple message that rouses an audience or triggers an emotion through the expert use of just a handful of words – something that takes a second to read but resonates for hours.

If you had to describe your work in three words? Optimistic. Engaging. Thoughtful. How considered are the words, statements and sentences you choose to work with? Do you consider each one long and hard? Or do you go with instinct? - - - - ->

~ I Like It. What Is It Woodblock print, produced using traditional woodblock printing techniques Printed by Adams of Rye Available from Š

~ Oil & Water Do Not Mix Poster screen-printed using oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill, 2010. Proceeds from the sale of the poster went to local clean-up charities in coastal Louisiana, US. In collaboration with Happiness, Brussels. Š 2010


~ Don’ Say Nothing, Say Something Woodblock print, produced using traditional woodblock printing techniques Printed by Adams of Rye Available from © 2011

“It is a strange thing communicating with an audience who have no idea who you are or what you are about. ”

The words I use are very important to me. I spend a long time thinking of the right thing to say. I try to talk about positivity and offer an optimistic approach to work and life and I use phrases that ‘feel right’ – I guess I work instinctively. As an example, sometimes I use a phrase that has an ambiguous meaning that could be applied to lots of different things.

It definitely gives a warm nostalgic feeling to the posters. I try to keep them looking fresh and modern by using brightly coloured paper, as the last thing I want the posters to be is a pastiche of anything. I feel the woodblock gives the words a weight and importance, something that is harder to achieve using a computer.

I think the trick is to use words that aren’t too specific, that the audience can project their own thoughts and ideas on to.

There is something very lyrical about the phrases you work with on your woodblock posters. Do you ever develop a poetic or musical link to the phrases? Or are these posters strictly visual?

another world I could’ve been a songwriter or musician. Unfortunately I can’t sing tunefully and I can’t play any musical instruments! I’ve been part of musical projects, but in a more button pressing role, rather than stringing together a song. What drives your use of language?

Tell us more about your woodblock work? What is it about this technique that sees you continue to use it when modern techniques offer more efficient and cost effective alternatives? I love the whole process of making a woodblock print – it really is a special technique. I work with a local printer called Adams Of Rye to make the prints. This way it feels more like more of collaboration as I have an idea for the text I feel might work and then we set the type and see how it works. Because the lettering is made of wood, you can’t re-size it or edit it in any way, so you have to be resourceful in the way you use it. I like to use short words and fill as much of the poster as I can with text.

I’m obsessed by music, I listen to music all day while I work. It helps take me to the ‘other place’ where I can think freely. I like lyrical, mellow, groovy music and lots of electronic and abstract stuff. As long as it has a groove, I’m happy. Have you ever considered the links between your work and song writing or storytelling? My work has a strong narrative feeling to it, all the work comes from the same place and is trying to communicate the same kind of message. In

An urge to communicate with people I don’t know and will never meet. It is a strange thing communicating with an audience who have no idea who you are or what you are about. The work has to function really well to reach people in a meaningful way. This is something I’ve spent the past 20 years trying to achieve. How much do you think about the visual links between words and language? And how do you gauge whether a word or groups of words will work visually? It is hard to tell. Sometimes I make things that I feel make sense, but fail to connect with people. I think the main rule is to keep things simple and try not to be too clever. Luckily I find this quite easy! - - - - ->


Above ~ Prints from ‘Clear Your Head Every Day’ An exhibition at Outline Editions Gallery, London. June 10th - 16th July 2011 © Anthony Burrill Right ~ Woodblock print, produced using traditional woodblock printing techniques Printed by Adams of Rye Commissioned by the Royal Society of Arts Available from © 2009

“In another world I could’ve been a songwriter or musician. unfortunately i can’t sing tunefully and i can’t play any musical instruments”

Linked to your recent exploits with gallery shows, collaborations, exhibitions – please explain what you seek to achieve when you showcase your work to the public? To try and connect with people, hopefully amuse and engage. I spend a lot of time working on exhibitions and it is always a mixture of worrying that you will be able to put together a good show that people will come and see and like. It’s a hard process filled with self doubt and anxiety. I don’t really know why I do it! I suppose when the show is finally hung and looks good, that’s when it feels good.

How do you feel your two-dimensional work translates to 3D? It is essentially the same thing, whether the work is printed, laser cut, painted or hammered together, it is all aiming to say the same thing. I try to make the work as honest and truthful as possible.

Where are you heading? What are your future plans or projects? To see more of Anthony’s work please visit… Collaborations with The School of Life which is a workshop in Barcelona in July, an exhibition in Istanbul in September and a possible collaboration with architects, FAT, are all on the horizon.

Do your designs work better in groups or as standalone pieces? Some pieces work well alone, projects like the Oil & Water poster have a very simple story that people get immediately, whereas other pieces take a little longer to sink in but are equally as rewarding. It is important for individual pieces to stand out, but they will inevitably all form part of my on-going body of work and will always be seen and informed by that context.

Anthony Burrill’s new exhibition ‘clear-your-head-every-day’ starts at the Outline Edition’s gallery on the 11th July.


Words: Thomas Hawkins


t d

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Š Mark Holthusen



Dodos have come a long way since becoming acquainted via the San Francisco folk scene. They arrive in the UK this month in support of the strongest and most distinctive record the band has produced to date:

San Francisco two-piece Dodos have been on the folk radar for some time now. Relentlessly touring and releasing four studio albums since 2005, they’ve earned something of a cult reputation for their frantic and organic folk-rock fusion. This year will be no different for the band. No different except for the small fact they’ve just released No Colour, a decidedly honest and original folk-rock album crammed full of eclectic stomp-along anthems.

So Dodos are four albums deep now. Would you say your experience with the music industry has been a good one so far? I mean yeah, I suppose so. I think about that sometimes too, I sort of wonder what it would have been like to be in a band like this 10 years ago or 15 or 20 years ago and how it might all be different. But for the climate the music industry is in right now, we’ve been hooked up with some pretty good people and labels that treat us really well and we’ve got to do a lot of stuff so I’m really thankful for that. In retrospect I think it’s been a really good ride.

As if a tantalising new album wasn’t enough for folk fans across the UK, Dodos will be heading over to play three shows later this month. This select string of just three dates (London, Manchester and Glasgow) promises to make for fulfilling viewing. Originally a duo, but now with an extra touring member, Dodos are renown for unconventional instrumentation and interesting live variations of “For the their songs. Crack speaks to percussionist Logan Kroeber the day before Prince William and Kate Middleton are due to wed. He tells us the hype is everywhere across Europe, even in his current location ‘somewhere in the Spanish mountains’ he says it’s the zeitgeist of the moment. “You can’t escape it,” he laughs. Something else imminent and inescapable is the success of No Colour so we change the subject to the hottest folkrock record in the world right now.

climate of the music industry right

evolved. I find myself waking up out of a dream sometimes and thinking What am I doing in this tour van? How did I get here, in the mountains of Spain or whatever? Sometimes I just feel like I’m waking up to it. 2005 to 2011, it’s been a long time coming. You’re coming over to the UK next month for a three-date spell of shows. What can UK crowds expect from your live show?

Probably something a lot tighter than what we’re doing right now because we’ll have been playing shows pretty much everyday up until then. I expect them to be really good. In the last American tour we did, our home town show was at the end of the tour and I was very thankful for that because by the time we got to San Francisco we’d been playing for a few weeks and we were really tight – hopefully now, we’ve we’ll bring that same energy to the UK.

been hooked up with some pretty good people and labels that treat us really well, and we’ve got to do a lot of stuff so I’m really thankful for that. ”

What about any lows? Any breakdowns or fallouts? How does No Colour compare to Dodos’ previous albums? Is it different? Oh yeah, it’s definitely different. On Time To Die we pretty much tried to make it as similar to how the songs would be played live even though we didn’t really play them out a lot before we recorded them. We just wanted it to be vocals, drums, guitar and vibraphone. But this time around we kept adding more things than we could recreate live, so there’s tubular bells and whistles. We didn’t know if we were going to be able to recreate a lot of the guitar work that was there but luckily we got that one figured out with our third member. So when you play live now is it a challenge to put things across as you did on the record? It’s a challenge to put everything in there but I think we’ve got the most important parts. Y’know, the electric guitar is a very versatile instrument, there’s a lot of things that it can recreate – piano or vibraphone or whatever, even vocals – it can stand in for them. You returned to working with Portland producer John Askew who worked on your first two albums. How was that? How did it affect the process? It affected it very positively, I believe. John has an ungodly amount of enthusiasm and we did too. We had all gone on to do other projects since we’d all last worked together and I think, y’know, we were all very anxious to work with each other again. It was nice after we got things started, after we put down the basic tracks, we got very tight knit and experimented everyday. And then when we got to mixing everybody was very focused and having a lot of fun with it. So yeah, there was a lot of enthusiasm.

Thankfully nothing to bad. But last summer when we were touring with The New Pornographers our van was having some problems with its cooling system, it was constantly leaking and it was very hard for us to go up hills and we couldn’t figure out what to do with it because it was a very new sprinter van in America and there wasn’t a lot of places that could service them. We needed a specialist. But our sound guy and us, we pulled over in some town and figured it out and we were able to buy the piece that we needed in the auto parts store. It wasn’t spec’d for the van but we made it work, we put it together and it was totally fine for the rest of the trip after that.

Beyond a summer of touring what lies ahead for Dodos?

Well we’ve got a new video for the song, Companions, on the new record that’s about to come out that I’m excited for people to see. It was something that we just did as a band with friends and a director and a camera person that we’d met before in LA. So we did it ourselves kind of on a shoestring budget all in one day and it took a while to edit it all and put it all together but I just watched the final cut and I’m really pleased with it. It should be really funny. We also put out a 7” for Record Store Day of some previously unreleased stuff and we’ve got one more unreleased track that might come out some time later in the year. That’s about it for the rest of the year with all the touring.

No Colour is out now on Wichita Recordings


Good to hear!

Tune: When Will You Go

Yeah, very good to hear. Especially on that day because we didn’t have to cancel the show.

Who are you listening to right now? Words: Ed Collings-Wells I went to the record store in San Francisco before I left for tour and I bought a few things. I got the last album by Woods and the first record from Lower Dens and also the newest record by True Widow, and what else did I get? Oh, and the new Sonny and the Sunsets record. That’s all pretty disparate stuff but that’s what I’m listening to on the iPod mostly these days. Do you guys feel things have changed with regards to how things work as a band now compared to back in 2005? You know, I think about that sometimes. For the most part the change has happened gradually. We did a lot of touring before most people knew about us and then when Visitor came out and we got a lot of attention it just sort of grew another step and grew another step and it just kind of


warpaint //

With one of the most exciting debut albums of recent years still creating a storm, Warpaint are winning countless fans throughout Europe with their phenomenal live sets: Š Mia Kirby

When you released your debut album, it received a glowing review in NME and you were included in the BBC Sound of 2011 poll. Were you slightly wary of this attention after staying under the radar of the mainstream music press, or did you feel it was vindication for the hard work you had put in over the years?

Well, I only joined the band in 2009 so I can’t give you a perfect subjective account but I’ll do my best. In those few years the band was not only growing together as a creative unit, they were growing together as musicians who were exploring their strengths and idiosyncrasies. There was never really an M.O to begin with, other than finding their voice as a band, no desire to be revivalist. So, that takes time – realising what feels right and what doesn’t. Also, a ton of line-up changes and reconfigurations.

Although most people in the UK have only been familiar with Warpaint since your 2009 EP, Exquisite Corpse, and subsequent debut album, you’ve actually been around since 2004. There’s certainly a depth to your sound that suggests it was honed over a number of years. Can you tell us a little bit about what was going on between 2004 and 2009?

Credit for providing the band with this drive and direction must go partly to drummer Stella Mogzawa. The Australian was recruited following a period of limbo after the departure of original drummer, now Hollywood starlet, Shannyn Sossamon. Her powerful but inventive approach is a valuable asset, forming a watertight rhythm section with Jenny Lee Lindberg, and cutting through Theresa Wayman’s jagged, unorthodox guitar and Emily Kokal’s ethereal vocals, as well as being a vibrant onstage presence. Crack met Stella to discuss her band’s history, adjustment to recent success and their disparate range of influences.

What makes The Fool such a strong record is the crafting of Warpaint’s meandering and challenging sound into genuine ‘songs’, and whilst these rarely clock in under the five-minute mark, each piece is focused and memorable. It seems in this sense that they have found a perfect home in Rough Trade – a label with a remarkable record of encouraging experimentation whilst forging a back-catalogue of popular classics.

From Crack’s own experiences of LA, it’s a city which gives you much more space to breathe than, say, New York or London. One of the major characteristics of your album is that the

I love good pop music, ABBA and Michael Jackson. Jen is a huge Hall and Oates fan. I think you can hear a little hint of Private Eyes in everything that she plays.

I heard you mention bands like Massive Attack and The Cocteau Twins in an interview. It wasn’t something I’d picked up on but made perfect sense in retrospect. Do you have any other unlikely influences, which might have passed people by?

We didn’t have a specific pool of influences when it came to writing the album; obviously the music that inspires us is under our skin whether we like it or not. I guess the approach of being honest is number one. That sounds very self-righteous, but it’s true. We love both of these bands, they’re both really significant historically because they broke through the hum of mediocrity – The Slits for being tough and visceral and The xx for stripping it down when everything else around them was in contrast to their sound.

When the album came out, the main reference points people seemed to use to describe you in the UK were The Slits and The xx. Obviously the comparison with The Slits largely comes from being an all-girl band, and you seem to share an intensity and almost minimal approach to music with The xx. You don’t necessarily sound a great deal like either of these bands though. What were your major influences on the album and what are your opinions on both of these bands?


I think each of us grew up with a hunger to create, in whatever medium was available to us. I found myself surrounded by music from a young age, so instruments like synthesizers and drum machines always turned me on and continue to do so. Film was another big one for me, especially real auteurs like David Lynch, Kieslowski, Bunuel and Fellini.



We enjoy both, we’re not opposed to the larger setting. I think it gives our set a different meaning; everything’s a little more sprawling and

People are pretty excited about Warpaint coming back to the UK and you’ve got some big festival shows lined up including Glastonbury. Do you enjoy doing the big gigs or do you feel your music is more suited to an intimate setting.

I think the response is greater, at least in quantity than anywhere else in the world. Of course, I can’t generalise, there are some cities like Houston where we get a very warm and overwhelming response. There’s no rhyme or reason to it sometimes, it’s not like UK audiences are one way and Americans another. It varies from city to city. I can definitely say that people in the UK and Europe are less conscious of their reaction to the music; they dance like motherlickers.

You’ve received a lot of attention in the UK but how have things been working out for you in The States? What are the major differences in the way people receive your music in both countries?

Always lovely. We get such a warm response over there, especially in London. Sometimes it’s overwhelming for us because we feel undeserving. We’re so lucky to be summoned over there so often, I love it. I can’t wait to go back to Scotland and Ireland this time around, I feel like I didn’t get a true sense of it last time. I want haggis.

What previous experiences of the UK been like?

Undoubtedly. You cannot create the experience of playing live anywhere else, the way that you interact with an audience and with each other in front of that audience. It’s a perfectly unique sensation. We’ve benefitted immeasurably from it, I think the next album will be much more of a live affair. Best thing about touring? Playing music every night and honing our live show. The worst? actually all men! ” Not really having time to adapt or recover. You have to be an armadillo to get through it sometimes.

Do you think you’ve changed as a band through constant touring? What are the best and worst things about touring?

What were you guys into growing up, both in terms of music and outside of music?

You’ve been on the road pretty much non-stop for the past year or so? Have you been enjoying it? Yep! Of course. We’re so lucky to be doing this as a job. It’s not all candyfloss but the good always outweighs the bad.

You’re signed to Rough Trade in the UK. It’s a pretty legendary UK label, did it mean anything to you guys growing up?

The release of their debut full-length, The Fool, in 2010 saw the British press, from underground to mainstream, falling over themselves to praise a band so fiercely unique and unfashionable, and the four-piece have since found themselves on an almost constant touring cycle. This exhaustive schedule has seen them cover the length and breadth of Europe, including a stunning show at Bristol’s o2 Academy last month. Warpaint live are the product of a history of experimentation and jams. It is an hypnotic and engrossing experience, but equally displays the genuine enthusiasm and energy of four friends doing what they love. It’s a show which will continue to make a path across the UK throughout the summer, as well as hitting festival season.

I mean, any city that you live in, that you’re surrounded by, is going to have an influence over you whether you’re conscious of it or not. I don’t think we write a great deal about our surroundings though, mostly the feelings that are conjured up by them. So, yes and interviewer’s favourite response.

songs are given space to breathe and mutate into something else. Did LA have a profound influence on your music and you as individuals?

Absolutely! I love The Smiths and Scritti Politti. Rough Trade is a label with so much history and integrity, it’s difficult to think of anyone who balances their influence and good taste so well. We’ve all been fans of the philosophy of that label so it’s a real treat to be a part of it.

To be honest, neither. I think once something is released into the public sphere, you can’t waste precious energy commiserating over the reaction it gets. It’s outside of our control how people and the press respond to our music. Sure, there’s always the concern that an album will be overexposed or ridiculed. I think the only remedy to that is being prolific and working hard. The more you’re affected by those external elements the more self-conscious you become.

Relentlessly creative and original, Warpaint are a band whose approach and sound has disarmed and endeared UK audiences in recent measure over the past year. At times sparse and atmospheric, at times immediate and joyous, sometimes in the space of a single song, they draw comparisons to the dreamy-psych-pop of Vivian Girls or Cocteau Twins and the angularity of The Slits and Gang of Four.







Words: Sean Griffiths

Tune: Undertow


We are definitely in the process of writing new material. We don’t want to rest on our laurels. It’ll be important for us to find a way to write on the road and making time for the process when we’re home. Super excited about that.

What’s next for Warpaint? Have you been writing on the road or planning ahead for the next album?

Not odd. I don’t feel any interactions we’ve had with other bands have felt like male vs. female. We’ve had a pretty generic experience I imagine.

I’m sure you’re sick of hearing music journalists bang on about the band being female, but, I imagine it could be a daunting prospect for bands made up of guys playing with you. Have you any odd experiences with other bands?

I can’t remember us pointing out a particular track that sounded like a single when we were writing/in pre-production of the album. It wasn’t any more exciting than any of the other tracks at the time. It’s so nice to hear that though!

The whole album is quite an arresting listen, but Undertow in particular stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. Was it a bit of a moment when you wrote that one?

We’re actually all men!

What’s the most about Warpaint?

I know that I am excited. I also know that one of my favourite artists of all time, John Cale, is Welsh. I am hoping to see him lurking around like a vagrant on a main street somewhere.

You’re playing your first ever gig in Wales, in Cardiff on 23rd June. Are you excited about coming and what do you know about the country?

big whereas you have to simulate that sometimes in a smaller setting. We love both, different beasts.




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Poster designed by Ben Steers


© Liz Eve

Crack is sat in a shady Easton pub, nervously awaiting the Godfather of Bristol dubstep. As the brains behind a label whose tag line is, ‘Music to make your chest rattle’, and a history of deep and menacing tunes, the swaggering gang-land of Stapleton Road seems a fitting place to meet Bristol’s most notorious producer for a pint. Since releasing his first album, Underwater Dancehall, in 2007, Pinch has become rightly known as a hallmark name amongst the dubstep heavyweights. As the label-boss of Tectonic Recordings, his influence over the scene has seen him simultaneously nurture Bristol’s wealth of homegrown talent, whilst pushing the genre as a whole to groundbreaking new levels. Simply put, without Pinch, the sound of dubstep as we know it today would be far, far, different. We could be forgiven then, for being a little taken aback, when the unassuming figure of Rob Ellis drifts into the pub. Politely offering us a cigarette, we take a seat in one of the quieter back rooms, and Ellis looks as surprised as we are when he begins to explain how much work he has on at the moment. There is something incredibly modest about the figure sat hunched in a grey jumper, thoughtfully sipping his pint, but as Rob Ellis begins to talk, it’s clear that the love he has of the sound is as deep as it is reverent. “From those first times of hearing weighty sound systems, I’ve always been drawn to the feeling you get from bass heavy music,” he says. “There really isn’t anything out there that pushes the low-end frequency the way that dubstep does. It’s a real physical form of music. And if you don’t hear it on a decent sound system, there’s a big gap in your experience.” It’s clear that Ellis is a man who really feels the music that he makes. When he reels off a list of exotic place names featured in his upcoming tour, we wonder how he remains so level-headed. Between touring, producing, and managing Tectonic, he is also the promoter of Bristol-based dubstep mega night Subloaded, not to mention being involved with publishing wing Multiverse, setting up labels for the likes of Guido, Gemmy and Joker (see Kapsize) and revitalising his old label, Subtext, this year. When we mention his place on the Bristol scene, it becomes clear that it’s the city itself that keeps him grounded. “As a young teenager living in Newport, I was always looking across the water, seeing what was going on over here. When I finally moved here, it just felt like home,” he smiles.


When asked how he feels about the commercial shift dubstep has undertaken, he says with resignation that although it is something completely natural, it’s not something he feels drawn to. “When something is successful it’s impossible to resist fine tuning it,” he shrugs, “but then it becomes something that can be interpreted as being a bit mechanical and functional. The more functional it is, the more instantly rewarded you are by the crowds. Then of course, as success builds, people get busier. When DJs might have had one gig in a month to look forward to, now they can have six or seven a week. Naturally it’s impossible for them to maintain that focus. “ Would Ellis consider himself to be one of these DJs? For the first time in our discussion, he thinks very hard before answering. “I don’t know…” he says, as his eyes wander for a moment. “I think my relationship changed. There’s a lot you can get from music when it’s something detached from the everyday. As soon as it becomes part of the everyday, it loses that magic edge. I’ve always tried to keep a certain degree of separation in my own head, and for me, running the label allows me that. I think it’s more important to enjoy making the music than to churn it out.” Ironically, Ellis claims that whereas he started making tunes in order to have things to play out, he now enjoys the process of writing the music a lot more. “I enjoy piecing together sounds and making them all interact with each other,” he says. “A lot of music I write is quite self-indulgent. I sit there and play around with loops for a long time, then sometimes I just think, God, there’s only so much deep stuff people can take on the dance floor.” His most recent release on Tectonic, Boxer, is one track where he experimented with injecting this ‘dance floor ammunition’. With rolling tribal percussion cut through with fierce mid-range bass and ethereal vocals, it’s an astounding reminder of how far the dubstep sound can still be pushed. The original dub influences, however, are obviously still a huge impact on his work.

“I’m longing for a sense of being amazed by something, and

I want it to come from the lineage of UK-based rave music. I think we’re ready to see what comes next. ”

“There’s definitely a very strong Bristol scene. There’s a stronger sense of community amongst the producers in Bristol than I’ve seen anywhere else, and I think that’s something that’s fairly unique to this city. It’s not a negatively competitive place at all.” It’s certainly true that the Bristol scene is responsible for some of the most exciting music to come out of the underground in recent times. The likes of Gemmy, Jakes and Peverelist, as Ellis says, all have their own take on the sound, but he believes that’s what makes Bristol different. “People talk about a Bristol sound, but I don’t think it’s anything like a ‘Bristol sound’,” he says. “I think it’s a Bristol attitude. The attitude that says, ‘I want my tunes to sound like me’. I think in a lot of other places people are quicker to try and conform, but here people have the confidence to try out different things. It reflects in the success they have.” This no-compromise approach was one Ellis seems proud to have integrated into Tectonic. “I think that appealing to a commercial nature can make you compromise what you do,” he says. “For me, commercial success is secondary. Not every release might sell well, but I think it’s important to get that music out there. It’s important music, something that stands out,” he nods. “It needs to have a home.” Ellis’s attitude to the label almost comes across as duty-bound. As we discuss his reasoning behind it, it’s clear that his love for the sound runs far deeper than simply releasing tunes. With a reputation for releasing tracks of a mind-bendingly high quality, and a catalogue spanning a soundscape of producers from Flying Lotus to Skream, Tectonic has grown from its birth in 2005 to become one of the most renowned bass-driven labels there is. “I guess the ethos behind it was something based on my interpretation of dubstep at the time,” he says, when we ask where the inspiration came from? “Something experimental, sub-based and very heavy. Something that you could kind of immerse yourself in.” The idea of immersion is one that Ellis refers to more than once in the conversation, and it seems as though it was this element that began his love affair with dubstep in the first place. “I was bored of drum ‘n’ bass,” he says, “it was starting to sound really stale and repetitive. The moment for me came when I went to FWD in London and saw Kode 9 play. I walked in and thought there was just lots of people standing around, but somehow an hour went by, and I realised I‘d completely lost myself in the music.” At the time, it was music that represented everything he was interested in. “There was the headspace you get from dancing to techno, the groundedness of jungle, the menacing attitude of that kind of sound, but the swingy percussive movements of garage.” “It was an exciting time,” he adds, “the crowd was a real mix of people. They hadn’t come to stand around and pose, they hadn’t come because it was the cool place to go, they were just there for the music. When something is really new, it has a sort of other worldly context to it because it’s not something that you can hear on the radio. That tension and excitement was really a big part of it, I think.”

“It’s the original bass-heavy, immersive music with an experimental edge,” he says. “When they first started rolling out dub versions of tunes in Jamaica, it wasn’t necessarily something that blew up a dance. It was strange, experimental. It was the same reaction when dubstep landed. “It’s sound system music,” he says. “It kind of changed the whole boundaries of what music is about.” His recent collaboration with Scientist saw a fresh approach to bringing the two genres together.

“It was by far the most demanding project I’ve involved myself in by a long way,” he says. ”The whole thing took about a year to put together. The concept was to take a bunch of original dubstep tracks, and to have them torn apart by dub. It was a concept that could have gone terribly wrong, but Scientist totally embraced it. It was amazing to see someone who was such an originator of the sound, connecting with the music that had been influenced by what he’d done.” The principals between dub and dubstep, Elllis claims, are much the same, both in the innovative experimentation that famed Scientist, and the physicality of the sound. So with downloads and radio-coverage increasing, how does he maintain that all-important impact? “I try to hold the majority of my sets on dubplate. It’s unreleased music,” he says. “I don’t often do radio shows, and generally avoid doing online mixes. What I play is upfront and I want to keep that for the dance. So, unless you come along, you aren’t going to hear them.” Measures like this are just some of the ways producers and labels alike are trying to maintain their original integrity. Speaking as both, Ellis seems confident in the future of the industry. ”It’s power to the independent producer and labels; it’s never been easier to get music released.” He nods as he sips his pint. “Unfortunately, that means a lot more crap gets out there.” His love for the sound is humbling, and as our conversation turns to the future, Ellis’s answer is to the point. “I’m longing for a sense of being amazed by something,” he says. “And I want it to come from the lineage of UK-based rave music. I think we’re ready to see what comes next.” As far as his own sound goes, Ellis is adamant that experimentation is key. “I’m interested in playing around with different tempos, things like Croydon House ( a much lauded track from Pinch released at the turn of the year) came out from that. I’ve got this idea in my head for a kind of bass-heavy, dark, menacing form of house music. Something with a tribal vibe, something that makes me feel how I used to feel when I first heard dubstep.” There is an optimistic tone as Ellis talks about the future of the sound he has played such a part in progressing. “This time next year, I’d like to have one foot in the world of dubstep and one foot in the world of wherever it is I want to go next. But I almost don’t want to know exactly. I think there’s always going to be these energy flash moments,” he smiles. “The energy flash of dubstep was around 2004-2005, and I think a lot of great music has come since.” “I’m sure it will continue to,” he adds, “but right now, I feel as though I’m ready for the next one.” Ellis’s confidence in the future is infectious, and as he down the lasts of his pint he leaves us with a parting shot. “It’s time to shake things up a bit,” he nods, and we have no doubt he means it.

--------There is a definite note of nostalgia as Ellis refers to his roots. “Stuff was much more cinematic back in those days,” he says with a wistful smile. “I think that element has definitely been pushed to the side a lot in recent years.”


Tune: Croydon House

Words: Claire Holmes


times new viking //

Š Times New Viking

A whirlwind of dissonant squall and self-assured art-school attitude, Times New Viking find themselves at the forefront of a new wave of stripped down indie-rock:

// Download a free Times new viking track @



Once a band becomes associated with a tag or genre, it’s almost impossible to escape it. And as much as Times New Viking stress their latest album’s departure from the idea of ‘lo-fi’, it still follows them around, both for their previous staunch adherence to its values and their current conscious movement away. As the Ohio band embarked on their fifth record, it seems fairly clear that their intention was to prove that there was more to their sound than simply ‘lo-fi’ – that there was a proper band hidden behind the layer of cassette fuzz. To anyone familiar with their previous output, this was pretty obvious. Utilising an actual recording studio for the first time, the discordant guitars, distorted drums and scratchy vocals of previous records Dig Yourself (2005), Present the Paisley Reich (2007), Rip It Off (2008) and Born Again Revisited (2009) have been tamed, but similarly to Nathan Williams’s Wavves, TNV have found a way to develop their sound towards more accessible territory without sacrificing their aesthetic or values. So the track Try Harder builds to a triumphant, almost anthemic chorus which might have lacked clarity and space if hampered by the limitations of home recording; Ways to Go bounces along on a headshaking beat, simple keyboard melody effortlessly cutting through jangly, detuned guitars and yelped vocals. To put it in terms of the 90s indie scene, which so inspired the band, TNV, may have just made their Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

and associate it with a band. Letterforms are interesting because it’s like, ‘how much can you get away with’ in embellishing the form. The writing that we usually use is Jared (Phillips, guitar)’s handwriting! So coming from art school, is the image and branding of the band important to you? should be. I feel like we are really in control of the graphics and how we present ourselves to people and the live shows. Bands that don’t have an art background just hand a lot of that stuff over to their managers or producers or that kind of thing. People just follow fashion and everybody knows that the most fashionable thing to do is to not be fashionable! How many times have you been in the UK before? How does the UK compare to the US – are the audiences receptive over here?

How do you as a band find touring and playing live? We’ve been touring constantly for pretty much about five years. It’s kind of the bread and butter for a band, but at the end of the day we all like it. It’s good to keep busy and to keep meeting new people no matter how stressful things can be for you on certain days. We all get pretty restless when we’re back home, there’s nothing to complain about when you get to travel with your job and go to bars and get drunk. And what are your future plans? Any festival dates lined up? We’re working on a little EP, it was kind of a typical project. We used really expensive microphones from the studio where we were and a mixing board and a tape machine and mixed on the four track. So it’s kind of in the works right now, not really sure what we’ll do with it. We’ve not been offered any UK festival slots, which is a shame because we’d really love to do some!

This upcoming tour will be our fifth in the UK, and yeah, the audiences


“People just follow fashion and everybody knows that

Tune: No Room To Live

the most fashionable thing to do is to not

Rather than a reinvention, you might see this as a band getting to know themselves. Constantly touring and churning out albums (four in five years), recording and doing everything for yourself doesn’t leave much time for letting ideas breathe and develop. But at a certain point something has to give, and in this case moving into the studio has given TMV a chance to move song-writing and melody to the fore. The band’s mastery of their instruments has also moved up a gear, although they remain a long way from anything that could be described as ‘tight’, they retain the sense of fierce independence and self-reliance synonymous with their scene. Their art college background has always made them a cerebral as well as a cathartic entity, and low-budget videos and vibrant cut-and-paste record covers contribute to the band’s strong sense of identity and individuality. Crack caught a word with keyboardist/vocalist Beth Murphy.

The new album is quite different to what you were going for previously, it’s a lot more of an accessible sound. Was this something that was done intentionally?

be fashionable! ”

Words: Geraint Davies

are great. I guess it varies between cities – at shows in smaller towns like Norwich or York a lot of people turn up but sometimes I can’t really tell if people like what they hear. But it’s definitely better touring in the UK because it’s a new place and the novelty of being the ‘other’ from across the pond is a bargaining chip in our package – we get a shit ton out of it! When it came to recording, you obviously kept a lot in – it’s still very DIY. Is it important to hold on to that? We kept the same level of ineptitude really! It’s still us playing all the stuff. It’s always going to sound a little bit wavy or shifted. We kept it on analogue and recorded on tape and we actually cut and pasted the tape back together, so that might have leant itself to that, instead of sequencing and editing it on a computer we cut the actual tape, completely analogue. How do you see the digital world?

Well we kept the process the same – the song writing and how we work together and everything, the kind of songs that we write – but we wanted to evolve and it was just the logical next step. We’ve been home recording for so many years, ever since we started really which was like 2003, we always recorded at home. So bringing it to the studio, that’s made it more accessible to a bigger audience? Why have you named it Dancer Equired? Yeah, I guess so. The name is a play on the phrase ‘attendance required’. We just did a word and spacing shift on that, and it’s from an Electric Eels poster I believe. It’s a kind of subliminal message about requiring attendance and getting people to dance. Is wording quite a big thing for you? You guys are from art-college, so are you big fans of typography and the way things look? Yeah, I mean we’re interested in typography and we’re a little bit snobby about it and get annoyed when people use that generic typewriter font

Well we only buy vinyl, none of us have iPods, which I guess isn’t really heard of these days. I think we as a band are right on the cusp of the old school way of doing things and the new technology. We’re almost like teetotallers to that. But with the whole vinyl thing coming back it’s become a way to get people to come to DJ nights. It shouldn’t be a novelty though. I have a cassette player in my truck and a whole passenger seat and foot-well is full of cassettes, so I get how an iPod could be less annoying than that! But also, if I’m walking around not constantly listening to music it’s a really good opportunity to come up with more of my own melodies. What has been your influence for the new album? Fleetwood Mac – that’s pretty much the answer to that question. A seven-week European tour and all we listened to was the Fleetwood Mac greatest hits double disk – we listened to it constantly, just remembering how great they are. We kind of wanted to make Rumours 2! We aimed for Rumours and thought then at least we would get Tango In The Night!

~Voxman © Tom Mead



Tom Mead draws the stuff of his nightmares; dark, soulless creatures with hollow eyes and mechanical hearts – we half expected him to be hanging upside down in a dark corner of a cave:

mr MEAD //

~A Feast Of Children © Tom Mead

“The neo-apocalyptic thing; I love that – kind of like steam punk, but less crap”

Crack is making its way up to the top floor on Jamaica Street Studios and having already traversed the hefty route to and from Crack HQ a couple of times that day, we’re already feeling a bit hard done by. To be frank, it’s starting to take the piss. Tto top it off, we don’t quite know what to expect. Mr Mead has recently been thrust into the consciousness of any art-aware Bristolians with his remarkable Dark Suits series, a collection of characters blending human and animals. The images reveal a literal hell of an imagination, a creative mind that throws unexpected images and ideas together with a remarkable frequency, forming nightmarish yet endearing creatures that pose more questions than they answer. Will he be wearing a cape? When we finally get there Tom Mead greets us; he’s welcoming and polite and really, bloody nice. He’s not wearing a cape, he’s not a lunatic. Throughout the interview he enthusiastically grabs battered books from his shelves to show us. Tom/Mr Mead has got people excited. His recent exhibition at Antlers’ latest location in Quakers Friars was a cracker: intriguing and unique.

Accompanying the exhibition was a pack of cards, the timeless images of Kings and Queens replaced by what he calls bio-mechanical anthropomorphism. So after all of the apprehension about whether Mr Mead would be some sort of gothic recluse, he actually turned out to be quite a gem; telling us about Antlers, nightmares and the Jamaica Street Studio.

How did you end up working in Bristol? How do you find the experience of working at Jamaica Street Studios? I’ve been here about a year and a bit now – I’d already heard of this place before so I applied, and luckily after a couple of weeks I was in. It’s a proper collective. It’s basically a legitimate company now; everyone feeds off other people’s ideas, everyone kind of goes through each other. There’s a core few that have worked together for years, and they deal with the admin side of everything, the serious stuff, while the rest of us just help out where we can. It weird, cause no one kind of ‘rules’ this

place, there’s no ‘leader’ of Jamaica Street artists; everyone just has their own input. You’ve had an incredibly fast rise over the past couple of months! Yeah, it really has. I’ve got a lot to thank Antlers gallery for in that respect. They’re just so on it the entire time. It’s amazing to be surrounded by like-minded and driven people who all share similar interests, and I feel proud and privileged to be part of a machine that is going to go far. This is just the start for Antlers, I’m sure of that. How long have you and Antlers been affiliated? I’ve been there since the start really, more or less. At the moment I think their plan is just to keep featuring as many new and upcoming artists from Bristol as possible, and keep it within their themes, and of course, to keep it nomadic. The main guy is Jack (Gibbon). He’ll hate me saying this, but if you see him in the pub you would never guess he’s running a successful gallery. But when he’s at work he’s incredibly motivated - - - - ->


~Goodbye Kitty © Tom Mead

~ Skin Deep © Tom Mead

and professional. He’s a great businessman; he’s kind of acted as my manager for the last couple of months for this project. It really helps having someone that is driven calling you up and demanding stuff – it really pushed me. How long ago did you start working on this the Dark Suits series? It was last summer really. Up to that point I’d been working on my Flat Cities project and I want to try and develop them more, but I’ve really had a lot more interest in the characters, plus I enjoy them a hell of a lot more. I’m really hoping that I can merge it all together, and I think then I’ll have found my style. Sculpture is the next thing I’m looking to get into – that and etching. But I won’t actually be doing the sculpting; I’ve got a few people working on making my characters at the moment, one of them in pewter and also a bronze bust of one of the fox men. They won’t be done for ages though.

You’ve said that these characters are basically the stuff of your ‘worst nightmares’ – why did you decide to dedicate so much time to something that it essentially terrifying to you? I felt like I needed to do it. I got pissed off with so many animation companies cause I used to study it and it felt like that’s the way I was going. I hated having to do other people’s ideas and not what I wanted to do. I thought ‘I really don’t care any more - I’m gonna start doing what I wanna do.’ So I realised that my biggest passion, the thing that I was most involved in, was my fear of animal suits. So I thought the only way to try and get over this thing is to try and confront it and draw it. Why were you so pissed off with animation companies? Whether I like it or not, I’ve always had my own style I guess, whereas with animation that was totally different. They wanted you to be a master of all styles. When a company employed you they’d make sure you had at least eight different styles to offer. But I hated being told what to do, I guess I’m really stubborn like that.

Do you think you’ll ever go back to animation, or is that something you’re finished with totally? I think I’d only go back as an artistic director or something like that. I want to be the person making the decisions. With animation everything tends to be done by a whole team, every section having a specialist. I wanted to be a background designer. But right now I’d rather find a way of blending that background work I did with the work I’m doing at the moment. The neo-apocalyptic thing, I love that – kind of like steam punk, but less crap. You obviously see a certain darkness in this combination of animal and human. Really? A lot of people say that, but I don’t think I’m there yet in terms of darkness. I’ve always loved doing the hollow eyes because I think it de-humanises the characters immediately. It doesn’t matter what they look like. You get rid of the pupils and it seems to completely get rid of their souls. No I wouldn’t say they were dark, I would say are a little bit tongue-in-cheek, I find them quite funny.


~ Parp Clown © Tom Mead

~Tea With Bunnymuck © Tom Mead

It varies quite dramatically. A lot of them I’ll just go ahead with it and draw and see what happens, whilst some are pre-planned. The bull came from me being really obsessed with an illustrator called Shaun Tan who had this amazing story about this lost war hero in a big old diving suit wander through this town trying to find his home again. I read it at the time and it inspired me to do something like that – and then for some reason it came out as a bull, the horns just emerged from the helmet.

The reason this whole series started was because I was going to write a dark folk tale adaptation book, all old folk tales but kind of modernised. I started writing it, but quickly realised I didn’t have the writing qualifications to pull it off, so I found a writer. Then I decided that instead of a compilation of loads of stories, I should just focus on one. So I gave the story to him, and he’s developing it properly into a 100-page graphic novel. It’s going to be a big project - it’s quite daunting, I’m going to have to develop every single character; you want the reader to empathise with and care about each one.The story is based on a dark Korean folk tale called The Fox Sister, although it’s come a long way from the original, but that’s the rough concept.

Do you think your work could lends itself well to some alternative media - perhaps something story-based?

The past project started out as an idea to create one character a day for a certain period. What happened there?

Well actually, that’s another thing I’m working on right now. I’ve got a writer who’s developing a story at the moment and hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll have a pretty solid story to work from, and then I’m going to go into conceptual design of the whole thing, create an entire world.

Yeah, that’s how the whole card project came around. I got as far as 50. I was doing one a day, but when I got to fifty I realised that I should push it to a project cause it was getting absolutely ridiculous. It actually physically hurt to think and do that every day. So I just thought, ‘what’s

So do you think about what you are going to create beforehand, or does it just happen? Do you think to yourself ‘I’ll put a bull in a diving suit’?

the nearest number to 50 with some significance?’ And that’s literally how the deck of cards thing came about. And those last two days were absolutely torturous! Is music important to the way you work? Is there any music that inspires you? I’m a proper night owl, I don’t really work in the day. I’ll do research and things in the day, then at night I’ll just shove some headphones on and get into it. I have very mixed music taste, I pretty much listen to everything. At the moment though I can’t get enough of Lower Dens, Phantogram and Little Loud, that mixed in with French 60s pop and 1920s jazz. I can’t work without music at all; it feels odd. In terms of equipment and methods, what do you go for? Equipment wise I work on the lightbox these days, for the more complex city drawings I use it properly for tracing my roughs, but with the current series I tend to just shove a big piece of MDF on it and throw ink around. - - - - ->


~Dark Suits © Tom Mead

When I’m feeling particularly inspired I kneel on the floor sitting on my feet, rocking back and forth. I never change my style for any medium, for some reason. I guess I don’t want to learn a new technique. The big ones are about six feet tall, I think the bigger the better with stuff like this. My plan is to do really massive ones next, make paper drawings as big as I possibly can.

Yeah, I’m happy for people to think of it like that. That’s what I’m into. I want to get more and more into that world. It interests me, and I think people really like it.

and hang up gas lamps. That’s the kind of thing I’m into; I really want to see that.

Yes, the obvious person to cite in terms of the popularisation of that dark, spooky aesthetic is Tim Burton.


Maybe you should move into graffiti, start doing buildings!

(pause) Yeah; I like Tim Burton, he’s great. I just think he stole a lot of stuff from Edward Gorey – more idea-wise than anything. There’s a book he did that was an alphabet, but it was kids being mutilated in a kind of tongue-in-cheek, cartoon way, but drawn with a dark style. It’s inspiring to me. I think Tim Burton clearly saw that book and went ‘yeah, I’m having that.’

Words: Lucinda Bounsall & Geraint Davies

That’s actually something I’m doing at the moment. The original drawings can be scanned and blown up as big as you like without losing too much so look out for those! I think it’s a really good way of getting your work seen. I really want to do it anyway, just to see what it looks like. I personally would really like to see a gigantic fox man on the side of a building. So you obviously do try and capture something dark and frightening in your work. Is that why you decided to go with Mr Mead? It’s quite a sinister monicker.

The Jamaica Street Open Studio takes place on the 22nd-24th of July.

You can also buy his cards at What are you planning to do for the Jamaica Street open studio? I want to black out my room, paint the walls black, and then the plan is to get as much work as I have left over, plus any new ones, and put everything up and fill the room with characters. If it doesn’t fit on the walls I’ll put them on the ceiling, everywhere. Then I’m hoping to get some meat hooks


~ Diving Bull Š Tom Mead

Š East 17

East 17 were the most iconic boy band of their generation, inspiring clothing and attitude until they split ... but now they’re back.



East 17 Boy bands aren’t what they used to be. In the world of current market leader, JLS, it seems to be a never-ending mission to see how many products they can get their moisturised mugs on (this includes your penis in their responsible, if not slightly unnerving, condom range).

I’m sure Brian would love that! After coming back into the music industry after quite a long break, how do you feel about the state of boy bands and their lack of musicianship?

Boy bands and pop music are important as they set the stall for a generation of teenagers. So if boys that look like girls and facial creams are the order of the day, you can’t help but look back with a certain fondness to the days when East 17 were ruling the chart roost.

I find it frustrating because I play the guitar, bass, drums and piano, I’m a jack-of-alltrades, master of none really. I don’t know, there’s some cracking singers out there, but I think the boy-band thing has had its day for a while. I suppose the market is a bit girl–group orientated these days really.

More than a little rough around the edges, and fronted by the dynamic twosome of Brian Harvey and Tony Mortimer with backing singers John Hendy and Terry Coldwell, their urban dress sense, goatees and shaved heads made them a boy band with a bit of attitude. In a five year on-and-off chart battle with Take That, they actually sold more records than their rivals and spawned a whole generation of teenage boys wearing their caps sat on top of their heads, hooped piercings and baggy khaki – not to mention the white parkas in the Christmas number one Stay Another Day video. Back together minus one man quote-machine Brian Harvey, a new outlook and a new member, it remains to be seen if that 90s boy band magic can be recreated. Original member, song-writer and the music man of the group, Tony Mortimer, is optimistic.

How are you doing? I’m doing good. I might call my new album Crack! Where the fuck did you get that name? Well it’s taken on a bit of a life of its own, and you definitely don’t forget it. So what was the inspiration for getting back together?

What about JLS? JLS don’t really appear to be in control of their own destiny. What’s your proudest moment as one of the original members of East 17? Ahhh...God. Getting a British number one gave me a bit of a lump in the throat. That definitely stands out. There were many wonderful moments. Crack read somewhere that you actually sold more records than Take That the first time round, despite their ridiculous success. Did you ever think there was a class separation between yourselves and Take That? That you represented a more working class mentality? I don’t know, were they middle class? But they certainly weren’t from East London. I think we were just the underdogs. I like being the underdog. When you were selling millions of records it must have been an amazing period to live through for four very young chaps.

Well, you know we all grew up together and we always kept in touch. At the start of last year we just fancied writing some new songs. Brian didn’t want to do it, but I just thought let’s go for it. We’re just going to have a laugh and see what happens. There was no pressure, we aren’t going to go and write another Stay Another Day. Our new member, Blair (Dreelan), was the producer working with us and he’s a fantastic singer, so we asked him if he wanted to join the group.

Yeah, I mean Terry was 17! I was OK because I was 21, but God knows what was going on in Terry’s head – he had only been out of school for half a year! That must have been fucking crazy for him. One moment he’s doing his GCSEs, the next moment he’s in a boy band that the public really took to their hearts.

How long has it been in production?

You were icons across all boards, not just music, you had some pretty special fashions as well! Between the khaki, the parkas and Brian’s unique way of wearing a hat, you had a few styles on lockdown.

Since the start of last March. We didn’t want to mess it up again. Brian was doing some kind of video editing thing and didn’t want to do it, and we were faced with a choice really - do we leave it and never do it again, or do we give it a crack. I’ve got to say it’s been worth it! So has it been like a new lease of life? Have you got that fire back? Yeah, it started a bit of fire in the old belly. We’ve had a couple of false starts, so it’s good to be back. It’s a lot of pressure, but we thrive on it and it’s fantastic.

You had loads of little East 7-teenies walking round the streets. But fashion is bigger than anyone really, it just does its own thing. I look back and I accept that moment in my life. I used to have massive trouble looking back, but now I go, ‘that was me, that was part of my life’ and I’m comfortable with it. But there were some crazy clothes we wore. The white parkas though – I like ‘em! I wanted to get them out for the new tour, but I’ve got to be honest it didn’t go down too well with the others. What have you been up to in the last five years?

Did you try hard to get the original line-up back with Brian? Are you still friends? He’s doing his thing so I don’t mind. I haven’t seen Brian in ages. We did a gig for Born Free (wildlife charity) a while ago and I thought it went really well and I was chuffed with it. I took a driver to his house to pick him up and made a fuss over him, but then I saw on the internet that he said he was never, ever going to perform again. So I don’t know what I did. Maybe he’s lost his mojo. I though ‘oh right’! He’s editing videos or something now.

Well actually I’ve been training in martial arts to keep fit. I got terribly out of shape and it’s a lot harder to get back into shape than it was to get out of it. I’ve been writing songs because it’s really hard to stop. I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music and taking bits from Beethoven as inspiration. So what’s going on in the East 17 tour bus these days?

What style have you gone for on the new record?

Well Blair is the party guy, so he’ll DJ. I like a bit of peace and quiet after coming off stage.

The first single is a good old happy pop song and it makes me laugh when I hear it. It’s not Chaz and Dave make ‘em laugh mind.

I doubt it was like that back in the day?

So are there any ballads on there. I know you said you didn’t want to write another Stay Another Day, but surely you must have been tempted. No, I had a look at the back catalogue and we’ve sort of steered away from it to be honest. We’ve tried to keep it up-tempo. When a lot of people look back at East 17, they see a lot of the songs like Steam and House of Love had a real up-tempo energy to them. They were essentially pop songs but with a dance vibe.

Yeah, we needed a lot of looking after, we had security and we realised after a while that the security was there to protect the fans from us and not the other way around! You can imagine, touring the world and all of that success, fame and fortune at such a young age – it was fantastic. I’ve come through all of that, but I’ve got to be honest – I just scraped through to the other side! I’m impressed I managed to survive!


Tune: Steam Well we kind of came from the dance scene. But I think we’re a bit poppier now. It’s evolving with Blair. Blair sounds better at being Brian than Brian does.




22/04/11 // CRACK FASHION: june / july 2011

credits // photography - Filip K Stylist - elle sheriff Make up & Hair - inma azorin models - Edyta Kuchna & alf hilton @ gingersnap

Celeste dress in cream - MOTEL coral silk skirt - WHISTLES cream boots - WWW. ELLESHERIFF.CO.UK gold earrings, a selection - DUTTY




vintage denim shirt, a selction - MY YARD Dr Denim red donk chinos - MY YARD

retro blue swimsuit - RECESSION coral silk blouse - WHISTLES gold chains, a selection - RECESSION



retro silk blue shirt, a selection - DUTTY blue chinos - DONUTS canvas shoes - DONUTS

Thanks to // // // // // //


Vanessa vest in cream - MOTEL orange silk trousers - DUTTY gold chain necklace, a selection - RECESSION

Live Music.


levi’s® craft of music // lykke li //

© Lora English

© Imogen Freeland

Levi’s® Craft Of Music Camden Crawl 1st May 2011 ………………………….

Lykke Li Trinity 12th April 2011 ………………………….

Camden Crawl is an opportunity for Camden town to flex its utterly mental muscles at full tilt for 48 hours. The best way to describe this inner city mega bash is as an amalgamation of every experience anyone has ever had on the gigging, boozing, mash-up, legal high-ladened streets of Camden Town, mixing it with the punks, goths, mods, rudeboys, drug dealers and dayglo ravers in unison. You get the idea.

First things first: Lykke Li is pronounced Loo-kuh Lee. Not Likely Lie, not Lucky (though Lykke does mean good fortune in Swedish), Luggy, Lukey, and especially not if you’re a Bristolian; ‘Ark at Lee’, alongside the billion other ways I’ve heard it mispronounced (Even on Radio One, and you’d think they’d do their research before an interview).

The weekender sees every venue within a stones throw of Camden tube opening its doors and laying on a mixed bag of music, performance and comedy. It’s fair to say that there is just about something for everyone. From Koko to the Roundhouse, all the way to the Forum in Kentish Town (44 official festival locations to be exact), these venues enter into a soundclash free-for-all to see who can tear it up the best, and it is fair to say that at no point do any disappoint.

What’s in a name anyway? Maybe it’s down to the tongue-twisting nature of her alias (real name Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson) that we don’t see Li rubbing shoulders with the likes of Duffy, or her compatriot Robyn, in the UK Pop Charts. Hell, I’d listen to anything on Wounded Rhymes over fucking Mercy any day. It’s even more difficult to understand, taking into consideration the sheer amount of tour posters in ticket stores across Europe and North America with ‘SOLD OUT’ slapped across the withering glare of Li’s new art direction: Darker, world weary and wounded.

Truth be told, Crack rocked up sober as a judge at about midday on the Sunday. Amidst the melee we found sanctuary at the Levi’s Craft of Music stage, just one of many musical happenings spearheaded by Levi’s in recent months in an attempt to sell more jeans, but also to help rediscover true musical craft in times of such silliness. As the Craft of Music homepage states ‘Craft is individual and instinctive, something that is lived, learned and mastered.’ Situated in the Proud Galleries – a converted horse hospital no less – I was lucky enough to be part of a mediumsized crowd which witnessed a list of intriguing musical talent including the night-time-sleep-inducing bars of rising lyricist Ghostpoet, multi-instumentalist-singer-songwriter Marques Toliver and, of course, the diminutive genius that is Graham Coxon. Showcasing (for the first time) a host of new material from his seventh solo studio album The Spinning Top, Coxon smashed the stable roof off with his at times thrashingly mental / at times monotonous / at times folky bejanglements. There was so much love in the venue that even when Coxon paused to offer hecklers a forum to speak their mind he was greeted with a “WE LOVE YOU GRAHAM” to which he replied, “that isn’t a heckle”. Crack admits we slinked off home before Grandmaster Flash took to the turntables and did we get some free jeans? Did we fuck. But neither of these things are that important: what the Levis Craft of Music stage represented during my time at Camden Crawl was sanctum, an opportunity to get away from the madness and actually clock some serious music making.

On arrival, Trinity was already rammed for support act Sarah Blasko, who by this point was winding down her set nicely with her warm, melancholic and soulful vocals. Li eventually appeared through the smoke, accompanied by a billowing black sheet from ceiling to stage and the tribal pounding of drums, looking fierce in black cape, leather hot-pants and shiny high tops. Opening with Jerome, she quickly worked through her back catalogue and tracks from the new record, with Dance Dance Dance, I Follow Rivers, I’m Good, I’m Gone and Get Some getting the best responses, pausing to shout out to The Big Pink before playing her excellent ballad cover of their 2009 track, Velvet. Clearly still hurting from the partially documented love difficulties that underpinned the writing process of Wounded Rhymes, Li later took a moment to sympathise with anyone who had shared experience of the breakdown of love due to vast expanses of ocean and distance, before launching into Unrequited Love. The totally unexpected introduction of the shimmering arpeggiated chords of The Knife’s Silent Shout was a bittersweet highlight (all approximately one and a half minutes the band played). This was a shame, because the band had the keyboard part completely mastered, and if any vocalist could do Karin from The Knife justice, it’d be Lykke Li. A credit to Trinity, the sound was spot on from the offset, but particularly noticeable during that section, for obvious reasons.


After finishing with I Know Places and Sadness Is A Blessing, Li – as witheringly brazen as her aforementioned press shots – announced to the crowd, “I feel nothing”. It’s a safe bet she was in the small minority at that moment, and most leaving the Trinity felt nothing but love for her and that performance.

Thomas Hawkins


Photos: Imogen Freeland Artbeats Photos: Lora English

Original & Re-Worked Vintage Clothing Crafty Workshops Homeware Tea Room

Summer Exhibitions 2011


Damien Hirst: Charity Lisa Milroy: Improvisations Mary Fedden: Celebration Elisabeth Frink: Wild Jack Vettriano and Jeanette Jones: The Ballroom Spy Image: Damien Hirst: Charity, 2002-2003, Acrylic paint on bronze, 270 x 96 in (6858 x 2438.4 mm), Photographed by Mike Parsons, © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011

Until 31 August 2011 Charity: ends May 2012 The Ballroom Spy: begins 28 June Celebration: 6 - 26 June, 3 July - 31 August 0117 973 5129 Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

159 Autumn Exhibition CALL FOR ENTRIES

Photo: Max McClure

The RWA is inviting submissions of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture and architecture from both amateur and professional artists for the annual open exhibition.*

Submissions from 1 July 2011 To submit online – visit For a pack – call 0117 973 5129 *Entry fees apply. Artwork hand-in dates/locations to be decided.


Alfresco disco // simple things festival //

© Chris Cooper

Live Music.

© Matthew Smith

Alfresco Disco Castle Park / Trinity 29th April 2011 ………………………….

Simple Things Festival The Old Fire Station / The Bierkeller / Start The Bus 1st May 2011 ………………………….

After one member of Crack had finished their cucumber sandwiches and donned their bright red suit in homage to the royal festivities on the TV, there was definitely a sense of regal anticipation in the air. Even if you couldn’t give a cocktail sausage about Kate and Wills and their finery, the bonus Bank Holiday gave you a real reason to be cheerful. Even the anti-monarchists who resent every little penny the UK Royals receive, would have been at least slightly thankful to them for granting us a bit of extra holiday. Alfresco Disco is a night in Bristol whose credentials have been rising steadily for a while. What they pulled off on Royal Wedding Friday was truly one of the best days of Bristolian party entertainment seen for some time.

With a line-up including Jamie xx, Gonjasufi, The Nextmen and The Correspondents, Simple Things was the new festival on the Bristol roster that had everyone talking. Mixing a range of genres – funk, electronica, hiphop, dubstep – and spread across The Old Fire Station, the Bierkeller and Start the Bus, it proved to be an extremely alternative all-day rave in the heart of Bristol.

After reputedly securing the licence to Castle Park for a mere £30 because of flexibility in the law regarding street parties due to the wedding, there was no time wasted in making sure this unique opportunity was grabbed with both hands. Set in the natural amphitheatres at the far end of Castle Park, the Alfreso By Day party featured live music on the bandstand and stalls around the outside of the grassed area, a double-decker bus acting as the stage and sound system behind the bandstand in the bricked terrace area. As a set-up for daytime raving goes, this was as perfect as it got. Featuring a set from Secretsundaze main man James Priestley, the ethos was strangely reminiscent of Mr Priestley’s groundbreaking London soiree. Taking all the best bits of daytime/free partying (fancy dress, glitter, good setting) and discarding the negatives (crack addicts, shit soundsystems, dogs and psy-trance), any tourist passing Castle Park at 8pm that night would have been in for treat. Inner city partying with this level of professionalism should act as a catalyst for the council to grant more licenses for such events. With security more focused on dancing than checking for indiscretions and a minimal police presence, the house and disco (with a splash of Prince) bounded around Castle Park with freedom. From the ukulele sounds of the Rinky Dinks, to Futureboogie’s house/disco groove-on, this was a varied and musically colourful occasion. And so attention moved from Castle Park to the Trinity, the scene of Alfresco By Night. Never announcing the line up before the event is a prominent feature of the Alfresco ethos. Residents JG Alim, Little Tom, Frankie Mann, Credible and Lukas provide a solid musical base, and word of mouth clearly does the rest judging by how quickly tickets sold out for Alfresco By Night and the subsequent frenetic search for tickets at Alfrescio By Day event. So as we were greeted by wedding-dressed drag queens full of sparkle and innuendo on our way into Trinity, Crack was certain we were in for a treat. With the King Of Ping table tennis tournament upstairs adding a bizarre twist and yet more fancy dress and serious house sounds downstairs, as the night progressed the cream of Bristol’s partying folk danced away to a surprise house-inspired set from Appleblim and the Alfresco residents. A great lighting and sound system was given the full treatment during the royal bridal drag show, before the rest of the night became a blur of incandescent colours and faces. All-dayers are rarely done with this level of precision. If only royals got married a bit more often.

Simple Things was not a day for the faint-hearted – well, not in the Fire Station at least. Arriving at five, it was unbelievably hectic – there was barely enough space to drunkenly wave your fag around in the courtyard, the queue for the toilets was huge, the queue for the bar was huge, the upstairs bar was a sweatbox on a par with Heaven on a D’n’B night. However, these are logistical points that any fresh festival on the circuit should remedy in their second year of operation. Not dissimilar to the teething problems suffered by Field Day in their fledgling year, you have to learn from your first outing and iron out the creases. Crack embraced the vibe and got loose. The vast open spaces of the Old Fire Station were heaving with people indulging in Bank Holiday weekendery, complete with the chaos and spontaneity often lacking at smoothly-run club nights. The photo booth in the corner of the courtyard consistently spewed out images of festival-goers sporting mullet wigs and oversized glasses from the festival’s fancy dress box, adding a boutique flavour to the event while the bass pumped from the main room. After Gonjasufi showed that there is no need to sound anything like you do on record with entertaining, if mixed results, Baths proved to be one of the night’s most popular gigs with an intimate set in the top bar. A show that may well have graced the Main Room, Baths is a dreamy slice of subtle, melancholic electronica and is likely to get bigger as word of mouth bubbles away. It was a true highlight. Meanwhile over at the Bierkeller, Bristol’s own Million Way blended electro-house, fidget and techno in a highenergy performance. This set alone proved Simple Things was a festival for emerging bands and enthusiastic audiences. The nu-house sounds of the Falling Up boys and Floating Points made sure the top bar was a continuous draw, while Crack favourites The Fauns played their beautiful shoegaze downstairs in The Boneyard Bar. As the day progressed the focus on variety prevalent at Simple Things became very evident. The crowd-puller of the night was undoubtedly Jamie xx, and it’s fair to say he completely lived up to the hype. The atmosphere was electric and the crowd swelled. Playing a set of his more well-known remixes, dipping in and out of dub and tech sounds, as well as playing emerging tracks such as the massive Ye Ye from Caribou’s new alias, Daphni, his stock just continues to rise. A wonderfully unassuming chap, his transformation from member of the xx to arguably producer of the year is nothing short of astounding. At The Bierkeller The Correspondents were doing party damage on Chai Wallahs stage. The most entertaining party band since Madness, these guys are the late night festival spectacle, and tonight was no different. Chris Clark finished off in the Firestation’s Main Room in top style with his uncompromising techno. Simple Things was a forward-thinking festival reflecting the direction in which Bristol is moving, free from corporate booze prices and security breathing down your neck. In a city which hosts more gigs, club nights and festivals than you can buy tickets for, Simple Things definitely earned its place on the calendar.

---------Words: Hulio Bourgeois // Photo: Chris Cooper

---------Words: Hulio Bourgeois // Photo: Matthew Smith

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with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra On stage introducing his original music & scores from Silence of the Lambs, Shadowlands, Remains of the Day & more

Sunday 24 th July

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5/23/2011 12:21:34 PM


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The Porn Identity

Illustration: Lee Nutland ////


e’s dead. The bad guy of bad guys. The Ayatollah of global terrorism and the embodiment of pure evil. The man with a $25m bounty on his head has been killed with one shot to the heart and one to the head. Brilliant. Apparently ‘Cool hand Luke’ Obama ordered the attack on Osama’s compound on the Friday, to be executed on Sunday the 1st of May. On the Saturday night he relaxed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, laying into Fox News and ‘ferret hat wearing’ Trump, alongside Seth Meyers. Even better, he came on stage to a video mash-up of Transformers, baseball victories, flying eagles, cowboys and his birth certificate thumping to the beat mid-screen – with Hulk Hogan’s theme, I Am A Real American, playing in the background. Genius. Looking on was Donald ‘the world’s greatest feat of hairginering’ Trump, then prospective presidential candidate, now, sadly, just another bellend with millions of dollars. As he bowed out, costing comedy dearly, he uttered the ridiculous: “I maintain the strong conviction that

if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and, ultimately, the general election.”

Central’s The Daily Show – Whackistan, Al Jizzeera, The Porn Identity, Dead Man Wanking et al.

This is why MediaSpank would never support a Conservative, Republican, or any other right-leaning party; they’re old, rich, unfunny and full of shit.

Who can paint the prettiest turd?

Dead-terrorist bounce They say Obama’s dead-terrorist bounce only lasted two weeks in the polls. That said, the postassassination belittling campaign was rather deft. Tailored to ruin his reputation, and rightly so. No burial; no shrine. Videos of an old man sitting on the floor watching cable, implications that he used a women as a human shield… Then we learnt that Seal Team 6 had uncovered a stash of pornography in the compound.

Meanwhile, back in Old Blighty, the stressed bond of collective responsibility which has held the coalition’s cabinet together through a series of Liberal drubbing moments has come under real pressure. Finally, they’ve drank the serum of NHS reform and Cleggeron has emerged as a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hydelike monster. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. Now they shall battle to take credit for reforming one of the dumbest pieces of policy I’ve heard in years. Who can paint the prettiest turd we wonder?

professionals wrote to the Daily Hate, representing “literally thousands of patients”. As compared to the anti-reform stance of the vast majority of doctors, the British Medical Association, right-thinking folk and more. Well done Ed! I’d transcribe it here but honestly, I can’t find the bloody tape. So it sort of loses its impact…


Christopher Goodfellow

What was going on under that dog-eared blanket?

It also gave Gromit-eyed Miliband his best one-two punch in during Prime Minister’s questions ever. Well, I mean, I don’t listen to those baying aresholes week in week out, but it did sound pretty good.

Who know or cares if it was his, his son’s or one of the couriers? It’s hard core porn and comedic gold all round, inspiring a brilliant run of titles from Comedy

He called out ‘soon to be suffering from serious hair loss’ Cameron claiming support of the country’s thousands of doctors because 72-ish health care

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Tickets available online from £46, camping included…






















8. 9. 10. 11. 13.

14. 15.


















3. Cover – Protection – Guarantee (9) 8. Hyperactive nature combined with short attention span ( 9. Join in (4,4) 10. Altered version of musical track (2-4) 13. Out of practice – Corroded (5) 14. Welsh coastal city (7) 16. Male name (7) 17 & 7 down. British comedian and presenter (5,4) 21. Movie theatre (5) 22. Carries ‘sad water’ from the lacrimal sac to the naval cavity (4,4) 23. At liberty (4) 24. Format (9)

1. Social and market-based movement focussed on export from developing countries (4,5) 2. Trio (9) 4. Jots down (5) 5. Secret (6) 6. European mountain range (4) 7. see 17 across 11. Unevenness (9) 12. Lacking a mature-looking profile (4,5) 15. Digestive, for example (7) 18. Thespian (5) 19. Irritant (4) 20. Pakistani language (4)




17. 18. 19.


21. Solution to last issue's Crossword:

22. 23. 24.

ACROSS: 7. Seriously, 8. Crack, 10. Car Crash, 11. Hannah, 12. Arse, 13. Love bite, 15. Penalty, 17. Amnesia, 20. Lingerie, 22. Soda, 25. Moving house, 26. Scarface, 27. see 25 across, 28. Morrissey DOWN: 1. He-man, 2. Mincer, 3. Budapest, 4. Fly-half, 5. Grenoble, 6. Ocean trip, 9. Chav, 14. Semicolon, 16. Angriest, 18. Massacre, 19. Session, 21. Rage, 23. Defuse, 24. Screw

Horoscopes (because we can see into the future)

Aries – The moon will be particularly strong for Arians this month, cause the weather is probably going to be really nice.

Taurus – It will be tricky to remain demure this June, with the overwhelming power of Venus pumping gallons of dirty fluid into your heart and mind. Keep that big old Taurean head of yours on the right track with frequent exercise and crosswords. Instead of porno, keep it strictly 1940s movies and ovaltine.

Gemini – Absolute fucking mega lolz this month mate. High on the lolzometer. Trust.

Cancer – You will find an unlabelled megamix tape in a small drawer, so invest in some new headphones. Remember Ace of Base? They’ll be on it. Everything they ever did – the whole tape will be Ace of Base one-on/one-off. What’s that, Ace of Base are still going? Jesus.

Leo – With this month marking the 35th anniversary of legendary lion-porno, Born Free, Leos of the world are required to come to arms and unite against stuff, like Tesco and those pesky police. Get waiting on that allimportant call, swampy needs you.

Virgo – As Neptune morphs into Virgo and back again, you will be faced with not having a definable star sign for four hours. During this period you will not be subject to the laws of the universe. Which will certainly be interesting for you.

Libra – As twin jewels in the Libra crown David Lee Roth and Chris de Burgh have proved, it will be very difficult to sustain your musical success beyond the 1980s this month. Try not to adjust your sound too much though, because change is scary and rarely comes to anything good. Just ask Noel Gallagher.

Scorpio – Tell you what, mate. No joke. I’m glad I’m not you this month. Jeez. Good luck with that mate.

Sagittarius – If you believe yourself to be a Sagittarius, then check your birth certificate as your parents may have lied to you there’s no such thing. Think about it. ‘Sagittarius’ – that can not possibly be an actual word. The bus will be a significant mode of transport.

Capricorn – It’ll be a great month for Capricorns when they realise Men At Work are still together. Many holidays to Australia will be booked this month.

Aquarius – Crunch time for all Aquarians. With Epsilon Ironica, popularly known as ‘The Meat Star’, entering your sphere of causality, this is your final chance to switch careers if you’re currently a butcher, or anything else involving the passage of animal flesh from one person to another. Make sure your choice is the right one.

Pisces – A quiet month for Pisces apart from the glimmer of excitement when they think the Venga Boys is still together. The Venga Boys aren’t together. Gutted.

© Images by Rudi Everts.







Peter Tatchell | Eric Ness | Emily Breeze | Muff Said | Siddy Bennett | Heg Doughty | Gecko | Funkinsteins | Cabaret | Cuban Dance & More


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Enjoy Havana Club responsibly

CRACK Issue 12